Though there is no special office for this Sunday, it is commonly seen as the beginning of our preparation for the Feast of our Lord’s Resurrection. Today we must be Zacchaeus. When Jesus came to Jericho, “Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way.” Today is where we start our search for God, who is coming to take away the sin of the world. Today we must be filled with the desire to see God, as was Zacchaeus. Today we must acknowledge our sins, for Jesus is coming to our church, today he is coming into our homes, more exactly, into the home of our heart. What a contrast between Zacchaeus and the Blind Man of Jericho who could not see and begged Jesus for sight.
Zacchaeus could see and yet climbs the sycamore tree to get the best possible view. What a contrast between Zacchaeus and the rich young man. The rich young man could not let even one penny of his riches escape his grasp, but Zacchaeus says, “Half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.” Today, Jesus tells us, “Salvation has come to this home.” It is already Pascha, if we turn to our Lord in his mercy, if we seek him with the zeal of Zacchaeus.
Today St. Paul’s promise is fulfilled, “We have set our hope on the living God, who is the savior of all, especially of those who believe. (1 Timothy 4:10)” Today we must be among those who believe.
Meditation by Archpriest David Petras