A ‘Son’ view on salvation
By Celia Regis
Zacchaeus, this ‘short man’, defies all restrictions and dispels perceptions of inadequacy of height and worthiness as St Luke places him centre stage, until the real star arrives!
This short man’s innate purity of heart is activated by the luminous salvific power of the ‘Sonlight’ which shines ahead of His coming.
This interlude in the Lukan story prompted a memory of a televised interview I conducted, over ten years ago, with a particular deacon, who was preparing for his priestly ordination.
Small in stature, he took Zacchaeus as his flagbearer as he has himself proven to be creatively bold and a frame breaker, bearing the robust name which means ‘glory bright’ in Christ. Can you guess who is this flamboyant priest communicator who gave up the riches and data analytics of the banking world to follow Jesus’ call?
The sycamore-fig tree is also emblematic – a shade tree with branches spread along roadsides, the fruit and wood of which provided food and building material for the poor. Rich and poor alike benefitted from its resources and comforts.
It’s interesting that Zacchaeus was moved to risk ridicule and climb the tree. Yet, aware of how he’s perceived by others and wanting to stay out of the limelight, he benefitted beyond his wildest dream.
Jesus looked at him directly. He saw into his heart and blessed him and his ‘house’, prompting Zacchaeus to ‘big-up’ himself, despite the flawed lenses of the crowd who were offended by Jesus’ affirmation of the person who was only a ‘sinner’ in their eyes.
Which role would I take in a similar situation? Zacchaeus? The jealous crowd of dim sight? Jesus, who acted intentionally, true to His mission of mercy to save all, teaching by presenting us to ourselves, exposing our judgemental nature whilst we ourselves remain small minded, poor, and blindsided by perishable riches?
What would be our best response? Do we have time, or do we appreciate the urgency of the call to repent, like Zacchaeus, and get ready to meet the requirements of living in God’s kingdom of real justice, spiritual wealth and 20/20 vision of what is really important?
All of us are sons and daughters of Abraham, even though we often act out of character and surrender valuable heritage in Christ for riches which do not last. Are you convinced enough to share or give away the treasures you’ve earned, which really are realised only by God’s Providence and as difficult as it may be to understand, everything is gift for the good of all!
We pray therefore that we will come to see more clearly with Christ’s eyes, not in the future, but starting now. May we strive to win the treasures of Heaven which do not fail, that we may seek God’s mercy and forgiveness for offending or denying our brother or sister of their just due.
May we be courageous to climb to wherever we may see God in His Sonlight – found, saved, assured of fulfilment of His promise from the beginning.
The gospel meditations for October were by Celia Regis, a parishioner of the Our Lady of Fatima RC Church, Curepe.