Since the end of March, all my prayer group meetings have been online via Zoom. I started a prayer group in April 1994. The prayer groups are dedicated to foster the message of Our Lady of Fatima and Devotion to Divine Mercy.
Currently, the Chinese prayer group is meeting online every Sunday at 7:15 pm (Pacific Time) and the English prayer group meets every Monday at 7 pm (Pacific Time). Our meeting is about one hour 45 minutes with Night Prayer, Rosary (with guided meditations), Talk on Bible & Spiritual Life, Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
If you are interested to join, please register with me by email at email@example.com I am going to add your email to our email list, and you are going to receive meeting reminders with Zoom link and a weekly review email.
Many lessons flow from this episode. Firstly, that our Lord looks for us, no matter what situation we find or place ourselves in. Zacchaeus was a tax collector working for the Roman authorities; because of this, and because these collectors abused their position, they were despised by the people. “[Our Lord] chooses a chief tax collector: who can despair when such a man obtains grace?” (St Ambrose, Expositio Evangelii secundum Lucam, ad loc.).
We can learn, too, from Zacchaeus’ attitude. From the way he behaves, the reader can sense that it was on account of something more than curiosity that he “ran on ahead” and climbed into a sycamore tree (v. 4). Perhaps that was why Jesus called out to him. Our search for God should be like that of Zacchaeus: we should not care what people may think. “Convince yourself that there is no such thing as ridicule for whoever is doing what is best” (St Josemaría Escrivá, The Way, 392).
Finally, there is the way Zacchaeus responds to grace. By resolving to restore fourfold anything he has wrongly appropriated, he fulfils the Law of Moses (see Ex 21:36); and, in addition, he gives away half his property: “Let the rich learn”, St Ambrose comments, “that evil does not consist in having wealth, but in not putting it to good use; for just as riches are an obstacle to evil people, they are also a means of virtue for good people” (Expositio Evangelium secundum Lucam, ad loc.).
The Navarre Bible: New Testament. (2008). (p. 328). Dublin; New York: Four Courts Press; Scepter Publishers.
Jesus tells this parable to correct the idea people had of a Messiah who would immediately set up in glory and power the Kingdom of God (see v. 11). He tells them that he will come as King and Judge; his disciples should pay no heed to the enemies of the Kingdom (v. 14) but, rather, concentrate on developing the inheritance they have received. If we appreciate the treasures God has given us (life, the gift of faith, grace), we will strive to make them bear fruit—by performing our duties, by working hard and doing apostolate.
The Navarre Bible: New Testament. (2008). (p. 329). Dublin; New York: Four Courts Press; Scepter Publishers.
Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, was able to see in the events surrounding his son’s birth the “visit” of God and his Messiah to his people (see 1:68, 78); but Jerusalem, which has witnessed so many signs worked by Jesus, has failed to acknowledge him for what he is (vv. 42, 44).... We, too, are each of us visited by Jesus; he comes as our Saviour and teaches us through the Church’s preaching; he grants us forgiveness and grace through the sacraments. If we are faithful and attentive to his word, we can ensure that our Lord has not come in vain.
The Navarre Bible: New Testament. (2008). (pp. 331–332). Dublin; New York: Four Courts Press; Scepter Publishers.
Jesus’ cleansing of the temple is a reminder of the respect due to the House of the Lord. Christian temples that house the Blessed Eucharist are worthy of even greater reverence.
The Navarre Bible: New Testament. (2008). (p. 332). Dublin; New York: Four Courts Press; Scepter Publishers.