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November 17, 2020

St. Elizabeth of Hungary

Lk 19: 1-10

He entered Jericho and was passing through it. A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. All who saw it began to grumble and said, “He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.” Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.” Then Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Seeking out Jesus

Short. That’s my first image of Zacchaeus. No matter where we fall on the measuring tape, we can all picture Zacchaeus’ predicament.

In imagining Zacchaeus as only vertically-challenged, we risk missing three other key points about him. He was: 1) a tax collector, 2) rich, and 3) seeking to see who Jesus was.

We know that tax collectors were hated in Jesus’ day because they were seen as traitors (taking from Jews and giving to the Romans) and cheats (skimming a ton of money off the top). What is most inspiring about Zacchaeus, however, is that he recognizes that the security of his wealth is not fulfilling, which leads him to seek out Jesus. He finds something far greater than wealth and power, and this encounter changes his life.

Zacchaeus is much like today’s saint, Elizabeth of Hungary, the daughter of a King who abandoned her wealth for a life of asceticism and service. May we have the courage to see, as they did, that there are far greater things in life than financial security and prestige.

Dan Dixon, SJ, is a Jesuit scholastic of the Midwest Province studying at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, CA.  

 

Prayer

O God, by whose gift Saint Elizabeth of Hungary recognized and revered Christ in the poor, grant, through her intercession, that we may serve with unfailing charity, the needy, and those afflicted. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

From the Collect for the Memorial of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary


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November 17, 2020

St. Elizabeth of Hungary

Lk 19: 1-10

He entered Jericho and was passing through it. A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. All who saw it began to grumble and said, “He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.” Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.” Then Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Seeking out Jesus

Short. That’s my first image of Zacchaeus. No matter where we fall on the measuring tape, we can all picture Zacchaeus’ predicament.

In imagining Zacchaeus as only vertically-challenged, we risk missing three other key points about him. He was: 1) a tax collector, 2) rich, and 3) seeking to see who Jesus was.

We know that tax collectors were hated in Jesus’ day because they were seen as traitors (taking from Jews and giving to the Romans) and cheats (skimming a ton of money off the top). What is most inspiring about Zacchaeus, however, is that he recognizes that the security of his wealth is not fulfilling, which leads him to seek out Jesus. He finds something far greater than wealth and power, and this encounter changes his life.

Zacchaeus is much like today’s saint, Elizabeth of Hungary, the daughter of a King who abandoned her wealth for a life of asceticism and service. May we have the courage to see, as they did, that there are far greater things in life than financial security and prestige.

Dan Dixon, SJ, is a Jesuit scholastic of the Midwest Province studying at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, CA.  

 

Prayer

O God, by whose gift Saint Elizabeth of Hungary recognized and revered Christ in the poor, grant, through her intercession, that we may serve with unfailing charity, the needy, and those afflicted. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

From the Collect for the Memorial of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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