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    May 2024
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  • Siluan, Bishop of Orhei, officiated on the Sunday of Publican Zacchaeus  in Chisinau Metropolitan Cathedral

    The Son of Man came to seek and save the lost ones. We were all lost. From the moment the first man sinned, the man in whom all mankind was, we were all lost. Therefore came one Man, the only sinless One, that he might save all from sin (Blessed Augustine).

    On the Sunday of Publican Zacchaeus, with the blessing of His Eminence Vladimir, Metropolitan of Chișinău and all Moldova, His Grace Siluan, Bishop of Orhei, Metropolitan Vicar,  celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Nativity of the Lord Metropolitan Cathedral Nativity in Chișinău.

    Today’s Gospel text evokes the theme of repentance through the personal example of a man named Zacchaeus, who we are told was the chief of the tax collectors. He wanted to see Jesus Christ, because he was fascinated by His popularity for His miracles. Christ’s personality was famous because of his wonderful healings, especially here in Jericho, where St Luke the Evangelist tells us the story takes place. He went up out of curiosity and pride into the sycamore tree to see Him, but came down in humility and joy that the Saviour would remain in his house. He made a good start by getting down. He had not even invited Him. Such is God: Almighty in His goodness. But Christ called to him and said, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay in your house.” And he went into his house to the surprise of the crowds. And if a despised sinner entered the house with the Saviour Christ, the model of Zacchaeus, whom today’s Gospel offers us all as an example, was born within.

    Following the example of Zacchaeus, St. Nicholas Velimirovich urges us, “We are the sinners for whom the Lord the Brave came to earth. His great love for us brought Him from heaven to seek the lost, to save sinners!  Look at the little Zacchaeus, who in longing to see the Lord ascended. Christ approaches us as He approached him then, surrounded by a sea of people, some righteous and some grumbling. (…) Let us run to ascend to see Him. Nothing, of all that was and all that is, is so worthy to behold. Let us rise from the muddy road we have crawled up; let us climb a tall tree. He will come, he will surely come to us. Blessed is he whom the sweet voice shall call, the voice from whose sweetness the angels drink!”

    In his word of teaching addressed to the faithful, Fr Silouan spoke of the model of authentic repentance of the tax collector Zacchaeus. “Today’s Gospel fragment speaks of a beautiful encounter of the publican Zacchaeus with the Son of Man. The encounter with Christ produces a spiritual change in Zacchaeus’ soul, which makes him reject his sinful past and desire a new life. Although he had previously been far from God, now he no longer desires material things, but to be close to God. Each of us can find ourselves in this parable, but by following Zacchaeus’ example, we too can detach ourselves from the worldly and journey towards our encounter with God, which will bring us healing and a more meaningful and profound way of life. ” – said His Beatitude.

    True repentance is a change of mind, a change of life, a renunciation of the former life and sin, a sincere desire to submit our own will to God’s.