Zacchaeus: A Contagious Change of Heart?

The Gospel lesson of Luke 19:1-10 is a parable which is wonderfully adaptable to many lesson regrading discipleship and the Christian life.  The Gospel parable speaks to us not only about the change which must occur within our hearts for us to follow Christ, but suggests to us that the change of heart also changes our relationships with everyone else.

“It’s an epiphany for him, and in a funny, upside-down way, he is singled out by Jesus much as Jesus was singled out by God at his own baptism. Jesus, at his baptism, is identified as the son of God, and beloved; so Zacchaeus is called on by name, a name which means ‘innocent’ or ‘clean’ – not at all how he is perceived by those around him – and clearly, he gets the message that he is beloved. From that sense of beloved-ness comes his change of heart, his metanoia. It is left for us to imagine what comes from that change. But I can only think that it will ultimately change the heart of the rest of Jericho, as well. That this change of personal fiscal policy on the part of the chief tax collector is going to change the attitudes of those around him.” (Sister Katrina – Nun of New Skete, GOSPEL REFLECTIONS, pg. 46)

See also Zacchaeus – A Change of Heart