Reflection – November 11, 2018
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through it. A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. All who saw it began to grumble and said, “He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.” Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.” Then Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.”(Luke 19:1-10)
I have always loved this gospel story. There are several lessons with which we can walk away. One that jumps out of this Gospel is the infinite love that God has for each of us. It is evident in the response of Jesus to Zacchaeus, the tax collector. “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” Jesus knew the sincerity of his heart and that was matched by the response of Zacchaeus to Jesus.
I think that Jesus is saying to each of us to come down quickly as well because he wants to stay at our house today. But are our hearts ready to receive Jesus? We see in this story about Zacchaeus that just the slightest turning toward Jesus is rewarded many times more by Him. Sometimes our actions or our thoughts keep us from God. Sometimes we do not find the time to talk to Him. But God’s goodness and love and mercy toward us is infinite if we just come down off our “tree” and invite Jesus into our hearts.
The question is will we come down from our “tree”, abandon sin, and invite Jesus to our hearts? Jesus knows you are seeking him, like Zacchaeus, and Jesus is looking at you and saying to you that he wants to remain with you. Will you, like Zacchaeus, abandon anything that may be keeping you apart from Jesus, and then enjoy even more of Jesus in your life? Jesus is waiting to meet you today. He doesn’t want you to come to Church just to fulfill a Sunday obligation, rather he wants an encounter with you that lasts a lifetime and beyond.
Prayer of The Day
Jesus, help me to be willing to do whatever it takes to grow in a deeper friendship with you. Don’t allow me to worry about the murmurings of the crowd, but only to listen to your voice and respond to it with generosity.
Faith is not a vicarious experience. While others can help to bring us to Jesus, He calls our name and we must personally respond. Not just once, but every day, every moment. Faith is a door into an ongoing, intimate dynamic relationship with a living, loving God who, in Jesus Christ, has come to seek and save the lost. Jesus reminds us “You did not choose me but I chose you.” (John 15:16)