Sunday of Zacchaeus, Tone 7; Leave-taking of the Feast of the Holy Theophany; Our Venerable Fathers Massacred in Sinai and Rhaithu (c. 370); the Repose of the Holy Equal-to-the Apostles Nina, Enlightener of Georgia
1 Timothy 4:9-15; Luke 19:1-10
Christ is born! Glorify Him!
This Sunday Gospel reading is about Zacchaeus the tax-collector and with it begins a period of preparation for Great Lent. It tells how Christ brought salvation to the sinful man, and how his life was changed simply because he “sought to see who Jesus was.” The desire and effort to see Jesus begins the entire movement through Lent towards Pascha. It is the first movement of salvation.
Let us today come to a recognition of our own sinfulness, just as Zacchaeus recognized his. The example of Zacchaeus teaches us that we should turn away from our sins, and atone for them. The real proof of our sorrow and repentance is not just a verbal apology, but when we correct ourselves and try to make amends for the consequences of our evil actions.
Zacchaeus was short, so he climbed a tree in order to see the Lord. All of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God. We are also short in our spiritual stature, therefore we must climb the ladder of the virtues.