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Sunday of Zacchaeus
 

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Long before the actual beginning of Great Lent, the Church announces its approach and invites us to enter into the period of pre-Lenten preparation   It is a characteristic feature of  our Eastern liturgical approach that every major feast or season is announced and “prepared” in advance.   The very first announcement of Lent is made today, the Sunday of Zacchaeus, when we read in the Gospel for the day the story of a man who was too short  to physically see Jesus but who desired so much to see him that he climbs up a tree.  Jesus responds to his desire and comes to this house.  Zacchaeus wanted to see and approach Jesus, and thus he is the first symbol of repentance.


In the Epistle reading today, Saint Paul advises his disciple, who despite his youth is given high ecclesiastical responsibility, to be an example to all through his faith, charity, and purity.

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The following readings below are Sunday, January 22, 2023.


Today's Epistle reading [1 Timothy 4.9-15]:

The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance.  For to this end we toil and strive, 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.

 


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The Gospel reading for today [Luke 19.1-10]:

Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through.  And there was a man named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax 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, "Zacchaeus, 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 Zacchaeus 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."