Zacchaeus Personifies Great Lent

While visiting St. Juvenaly and His Companion OCA Church in Honalo, Hawaii, Fr. Matthew Howell preaches about Zacchaeus and Great Lent. He explains the context of Zacchaeus’ sordid life as well as his deep repentance. Great Lent is also discussed as a gift from the Church, framed by famous quotes from Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams: “Everything you want is on the other side of hard,” and “It’s not a Got-to, it’s a Get-to.” Along the way, Fr. Matthew compares Zacchaeus to Al Capone, talks about the goal of the Christian life (salvation and union with God), and offers practical advice for how to make Great Lent a better season of repentance and how to make Pascha more joyous: 1) pray every day; 2) read a chapter of the Gospels every day; 3) go to church as much as possible; and 4) go to confession.

1 Timothy 4:9-15

Timothy, my son, the saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and suffer reproach, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe. Command and teach these things. Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. Till I come, attend to the public reading of scripture, to preaching, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophetic utterance when the council of elders laid their hands upon you. Practice these duties, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress.

Luke 19:1-10

At that time, Jesus was passing through Jericho. And there was a man named Zacchaios; he was a chief collector, and rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not, on account of the crowd, because he was small of stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaios, make haste and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” So he made haste and came down, and received him joyfully. And when they saw it they all murmured, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.” And Zacchaios stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have defrauded any one of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost.”