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The Alphabet of Lent – Letter Z

Z pour Zacchaeus

He was small of stature but determined as no one else.
He knew what he wanted and… what he did not want!
He wanted to see the Man of Nazareth, and he did not want anything, or anyone, to prevent him from doing so!

He used a trick which served him well: he climbed a tree, a sycamore was there for his purpose.
He has seen, or rather… he has been seen!
He was seen, and he was challenged by the one he wanted to catch sight of.
From then on, his life was never the same again (Luke 19:1-10).

Many of you reading these lines recall the name of this original fellow.
Zacchaeus, yes, Zacchaeus, the man with a more than doubtful reputation in the eyes of many.
But, also, the man who has received what his visitor was offering him: salvation, nothing less!

His life of duplicity became an example of a life of honesty and generosity.
Welcoming Christ in our lives – non once only but permanently – can achieve such a transformation!

For each one of us, ‘salvation’ will take on a personalized form and will be realized from day to day.
This period of Lent, coming to an end, may have allowed us to discover this…


Note: In the following video Zachaeus, personified by Augustine Sellam, shares with us his experience of meeting the Man of Nazareth:


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He has known something of God’s mercy…

In the prayer he wrote for the Jubilee Year of Mercy, Pope Francis mentions a number of people who have had a first-hand experience of God’s mercy in Jesus. Zacchaeus is one of them, as the text says: « Your loving gaze freed Zacchaeus… »

In the following video, he tells us what happened…