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Zacchaeus the Tax Collector

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Lesson Overview

Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

In this week鈥檚 Gospel passage, Jesus meets a tax collector named Zacchaeus. Because of this encounter, Zacchaeus repents and make amends for his sinfulness. Jesus proclaims to the grumbling crowd that He has come to seek and save the lost, like Zacchaeus. In this lesson, students will consider the things that are crowding their own view of Jesus and what practical things they can do to imitate Zacchaeus and see Jesus more clearly.

Lesson Materials


A. Have students read the Gospel passage, or read it aloud to your students, and then answer the focus questions. You may have students answer them on their own or you may discuss them together as a class.

B. Have your students complete the Seeing Jesus activity.

C. When complete, have your students share with a partner their responses. Then, call on a few students to share with the class.

D. Conclude by showing the video of the song 鈥淥pen My Eyes, Lord鈥 by Jesse Manibusan found at the following link: The video includes the lyrics to the song. Encourage your students to prayerfully reflect upon the meaning of the song. You may also consider singing the song together as a class.

Answer Key

Focus Questions

  1. Zacchaeus was a wealthy tax collector. He could not see Jesus through the crowd because he was short, so he聽 climbed a nearby sycamore tree.
  2. Jesus told Zacchaeus to come down because He was going to stay at his house. The crowd grumbled because Zacchaeus was a sinner, and 鈥渟inner鈥 was how they thought of him.
  3. He would give half of his possessions to the poor and repay anyone he extorted (unjustly took money from) four times over.
  4. He too was a descendant of Abraham, and the Son of Man had come to seek and save what was lost.

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