Read Rev. 3:1-6,14-22, Ps. 15:2-5, Luke 19:1-10
“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.” (Luke 19:5)
Zacchaeus, like the Centurion never considered his house worthy enough to host the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It probably felt like a dream to hear Jesus saying to him: “come down, I must stay at your house today.” There was no time to prepare for Jesus. If Jesus had given him some days’ notice, Zacchaeus would have rushed to put his house in order, clean up the place, and put up a show (pretend), but Jesus wanted to meet Zacchaeus just as he was.
I remember when as a minor seminarian on holiday, I had a visit from a very senior priest. I felt like running off to hide because I was ashamed that this priest saw me in boxers (without even a shirt on) sweating profusely and playing with the other kids in the area. At the same time, I was super excited to have such a highly respected person pay a visit to me.
For this priest to have come to my house, it was a sign that I was somebody, the diocese was thinking of me. I had a future! The priest did not spend up to ten minutes in the house but that visit made a huge impact on my life. Upon returning to the seminary the following academic year, I became more serious than ever. I knew I needed to step up.
The presence of Jesus in Zacchaeus’ house gave Zacchaeus an opportunity to look deeply at himself; an opportunity to examine his conscience. Zacchaeus heard the murmurings of those who were saying that he was not in the class with Jesus; that Jesus must be doing a great disservice to his image by venturing to enter Zacchaeus’ house. Zacchaeus must have said to himself: “Am I that bad?” Of course, he didn’t need anyone to tell him: “Step up!”
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 19:8-10) In other words, Zacchaeus was letting go of all he had for the sake of God.
Zacchaeus had just found what money cannot buy. He who was lost to the worship of material riches was now on the path to eternal salvation. I have come to realize that preaching does not work for everyone; some people just need you to become their friend and this works magic. If Jesus had shouted, condemned, or reigned curses on Zacchaeus, do you think Zacchaeus would have been so moved?
The good news is that the same Jesus who became a guest in the home of Zacchaeus is standing at your door right now. St. John, in today’s first reading, quotes Jesus: “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me…” Jesus wants to meet you as you are, let Him enter. If you can feel Jesus’ presence, you don’t need anyone to tell you to step up; to walk away from those things you are too ashamed to have Jesus catch you unawares with.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, come into my life today and change me forever. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Tuesday of week 33 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Rev. 3:1-6,14-22, Ps. 15:2-5, Luke 19:1-10)
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu