Jesus and Zacchaeus
Reflection on the Gospel of the Thirty-First Sunday
Zacchaeus’ life was successful by worldly measure. He had an important job as Chief Tax Collector and it made him rich, but we learn from the story that he wasn’t happy and fulfilled because his riches were gained by mistreating people. All of that changed when he met Jesus.
The Gospel tells of Jesus passing through Jericho on His way to Jerusalem through dense crowds who clamored to see him. Since Zacchaeus was short, he set aside his dignity and climbed up a sycamore tree to get a glimpse of Jesus. To his delight, Jesus called him down by name and invited himself to dinner!
As far as we know, the two had never met, so it must have caught Zacchaeus by surprise that Jesus knew his name. Jesus already knew the man and sought a relationship. In the hours that followed, Jesus must have said many things that resonated deeply with Zacchaeus because he was inspired to make a grand gesture.
This is what Jesus’ was and is all about: Helping all of us make the most of our lives. Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus, but not nearly as much as Jesus wanted to see him! When Zacchaeus met Jesus, his perspective radically changed.
Are we truly seeking a radical change in our lives? Are we ready to surrender everything in the hands of Jesus?