Jesus came to save the lost and those who were outsiders. Zacchaeus is one of those characters. Last week it was the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector. This week it is an encounter that Jesus has himself with a tax collector, Zacchaeus, who because of that encounter promises to turn his life around. The Gospel reference is Luke 19:1-10.
Some key phrases from the Gospel story which you may find helpful to reflect on.
Zacchaeus was anxious to see what kind of man Jesus was. What does that evoke in us? Are we anxious to discover more and more about who Jesus is for us? Where in our lives do we need to encounter Jesus?
He ran ahead to catch a glimpse of Jesus who was to pass that way. Maybe sometimes we have difficulty like Zacchaeus in seeing Jesus due to some issue or short coming? Zacchaeus climbed a tree to catch a glimpse of Jesus. What do we need to do to recognize him in the encounters of our everyday life? How do we respond when we do see him?
Jesus looked up and spoke to Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus come down. Hurry, because I must stay at your house today.
Zacchaeus was not used to such warmth and friendship and he welcomes Jesus with joy into his home. Christ extends that warmth, friendship and acceptance towards us in all our confusion, doubts, worries and regrets. Are we ready to welcome Jesus into the home of our hearts despite those things that turn us in on ourselves?
Zacchaeus was changed by the encounter he had with Jesus. We are invited by the life and example of Jesus to show compassion towards ourselves and other people. To believe with conviction that ‘Today salvation has come to this house.’ Our house.