Thought of the day
11/17/2020 6:00:31 AM

"Today salvation has come to this house"


Saint Ephrem (c.306-373)

deacon in Syria, Doctor of the Church

Commentary on the Diatessaron, XV, 20-21 (cf. SC 121, p. 277)

"Today salvation has come to this house"

Zacchaeus prayed thus in his heart: “How blessed is he who is worthy to receive this Just man into his house”. Our Savior said to him: “Zacchaeus, come down quickly!” And he, seeing that the Lord knew his thoughts, said: “Since he knows about these he must also know all I have done”. That is why he declared: “All I have extorted from anyone, I shall repay it four times over”. “Quick, come down from that fig tree, for I am going to stay with you”. Thanks to this second fig tree, that of the chief of publicans, the first fig tree, that of Adam, falls into oblivion and the name of Adam is likewise forgotten thanks to righteous Zacchaeus (…) “Today, life has come to this house” (…) Through his prompt obedience, he who was a mere thief yesterday has today become a doer of good deeds; he who yesterday was a tax gatherer today becomes a disciple. Zacchaeus has left behind the old law and climbed an immobile fig tree, symbol of his spirit's deafness. But this climb is the symbol of his salvation. He has forsaken baseness and climbed up to see divinity in the heights. Our Lord hastened to make him abandon that withered fig tree, his former manner of life, so that he would not remain deaf. While the flame of love for our Lord burned within him it consumed the old man in him to create in him a new man.