Coming to our house LUKE 19:1–10
By Sr Katherina Charles O Carm
What an encounter for Zacchaeus! He had a revealing first-hand experience of the kind of man Jesus was—assertive, friendly, playful, a reader of hearts, thoughtful, can be touched, comfortable with strangers and sinners to the extent where He, Jesus, even invited Himself to Zacchaeus’ home.
What ecstasy for Zacchaeus! He hurried down and welcomed Jesus joyfully. His encounter with Jesus also empowered him to stand his ground when the bystanders complained that Jesus was going to stay in a sinner’s house.
His heart expanded with the intention of restoration shown by his words to Jesus: “Look, sir, I am going to give half my property to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody I will pay him back four times the amount.”
Jesus’ response was “Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek out and save what was lost.”
I want to believe that Jesus must have seen Zacchaeus climbing the sycamore tree in an effort to overcome the obstacles which prevented him from seeing Jesus, namely his lack of height and the crowd. Jesus therefore must have felt a warmth and love for this man who would go to such lengths to see Him.
Jesus saw something beautiful in him. This reminds me of a saying I learnt in my youth by James Truslow Adams: “There is so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it ill behooves any of us to find fault with the rest of us.”
Jesus in fulfilment of His mission to save those who are lost rewarded this man for his efforts to see Him.
This heart-warming story of Zacchaeus reminds me of God’s unconditional love for all. Our sin, addiction, unforgiveness or any of our struggles, which keeps us away from Him do not have the last say, for He rewards our slightest effort to overcome obstacles which prevent us from seeing Him or being with Him.
He is happy to come to our house as we are. His coming empowers us to live the abundant life by reaching out to others especially the poor and stranger in our midst.
The gospel reflections for November are by religious sisters of the Corpus Christi Carmelite community which is celebrating 100 years of service to Trinidad & Tobago this month.