Zacchaeus was a tax collector. People did not like tax collectors. They collected money for the Romans and often kept a lot for themselves. The story about Zacchaeus is found in Luke’s Gospel. Zacchaeus said sorry to Jesus for all the money he had stolen and he told Jesus how he was going to show he was sorry.
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke
Glory to you, O Lord.
Zacchaeus was lonely, but then he never expected to be anything else. After all he was a chief tax collector and nobody liked tax collectors. His job was to collect the people’s money for the Romans. Everyone hated him for it, and he paid them back whenever he could by taking too much money and then keeping it for himself. No wonder he was rich! But then that didn’t make him any less lonely. One day, there was a crowd gathered in the streets of Jericho because Jesus was passing through. Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus, but he couldn’t because he was a small man. He ran ahead of the crowd and climbed up a sycamore tree. He could see Jesus quite clearly now. Jesus came near the tree, looked up at Zacchaeus and said, “Hurry down, Zacchaeus. I want to stay at your house today.” Zacchaeus couldn’t get down fast enough! His heart was beating fast, he was so full of joy. He could hear some of them muttering and complaining. “He has gone to stay at a sinner’s house,” they said. Zacchaeus looked at Jesus. “ Look, sir,” he said, “I am going to give half my belongings to the poor and if I have cheated anybody, I will pay him back four times the amount.” Jesus smiled at him and said, “I am glad Zacchaeus. This is indeed a happy day for you because I have come to your house today specially to help you change, so that you will please my Father.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
How did Zacchaeus show he was sorry? Zacchaeus felt very happy when he showed he was sorry. It is not always easy to say sorry but when we do we are telling everybody we want to change. Try to sit really still for a moment and see if you can think of a time when you have shown you were sorry. How did you feel?
It is important that we know how to say sorry and are willing to show this. It is good to know that Jesus is very pleased and happy when we say sorry and want to change.
What can you do to show someone you are sorry?
One thing we can do now is say an Act of Contrition which is a ‘sorry prayer’. Notice our prayer asks God to help us to change to be better which is the best way of showing we really mean we are sorry. Say this together: ‘O my God I am sorry that I have hurt you and others and with your help I will try and change.’
This week’s mission is to not only say when we are sorry, but to show that we are sorry with our actions.
Let us know how you get on in the comments below.