Do you like this story about Zaccheus the wealthy tax-collector? I do.
This story we hear in today’s Gospel appears ONLY in the Gospel of St. Luke. He is the only one that tells us this story about the wealthy tax collector, Zaccheus.
It is interesting where Luke situates this story. Immediately before this passage, as Jesus is approaching the city of Jericho, there is the story of the healing of a blind beggar. Luke 18: 35-43
Now Luke gives us another healing that involves sight: not physical sight, but rather insight. For we are told that Zaccheus “
What is Jesus all about? What is it about Jesus that is so attractive and so compelling?
Often, like Zaccheus if we want to really see then we have to break out of our routine. We have to get away from the crowd, from all the conventional expectations. We have to stop worrying about looking foolish, we have to take a risk to go out on a limb to get a different perspective on life. Probably that does not mean literally climbing up in a tree. But it might mean turning off the TV and the smart phone and all the other distractions to spend time in quiet and prayer. It might mean including daily mass in your schedule, something totally different than the rest of your day. It might mean taking time for a retreat or an evening of recollection, even going off to a monastery or a retreat house. Your family and co-workers may think you have gone a little nuts, but we will never hear the Lord’s inviting Himself to our house, that is into our hearts, until we stop to listen.
We can then receive the Lord with joy into our hearts, into our lives.
This will, of course, require changes. For Zaccheus it required a fundamental shift from looking on his possessions as something to hoard and from the accumulation of more and more and more, to a very different approach of seeing his possessions as the opportunity and the means to do good, to achieve something positive and lasting with them rather than to hoard them just for himself in a sterile way.
Zaccheus found his true treasure in the Lord. So can we.