Scripture: lectionary 498. II Maccabees 6:18-31. Psalm 3:2-3,4-5. 6-8.
Our Gospel tells us that no one is excluded from the Kingdom of God.
Zacchaeus is a model for all of us who depend upon the grace of God, God’s
merciful-love seen in Jesus, and the willingness on our part to really see
Jesus through our eyes of faith. Jesus healed a man who was born blind
just before the incident of seeing Zacchaeus propped up in a tree in order
that he might see Jesus. To his great surprise much more happens to him.
Jesus meets the eyes that are looking at him, those of Zacchaeus.
Crowded thoughts and plans, our own limitations and other selfish concerns
prevent us from seeing Jesus. We need to climb a tree—an effort at
overcoming these limits through a deep desire to see God in the person of
Jesus. We all need to convert each day to the spiritual vision we so
desire in order to put peace and love into our hearts. We need to do like
Zacchaeus is creative and industrious in his effort to see Jesus. He
leaves aside his selfish concerns and climbs a tree to catch sight of the
Lord. What a surprise is in store for him when Jesus not only sees him but
invites him to throw a dinner, a banquet at his own home near or in
Jericho. This leads the little man to become great with his generosity and
his willingness to be just in his dealings with others and their taxes,
their money. Jesus, the fisher of human beings, has caught another one
for his community of followers and believers that God is good and loves
everyone on this earth. Nothing God created is bad as we know well from the
first chapter of Genesis.
Joy and enthusiasm are the reward and grace of our daily conversion. We
then can really help others for we have been helped to come to the table
and to be with Jesus. Yes, this scene is dynamic, filled with energy, and
even hilarious. We too can be pulled in by the great fisherman, Jesus of
Nazareth. Our hearts need to be touched by the Lord each day. The
sacrament of the Eucharist is Jesus’ way of inviting us to his banquet. We,
in turn, leave our preoccupations, our comfort, our selfishness in order to
enjoy this banquet with all the friends of God. All are equal at the table
of the Lord. No one is excluded from the Kingdom of God.
We need to be attentive to our liturgical celebrations so that we can see
Jesus who is already looking at us and inviting us to his banquet. With
the eyes of faith we can actually see Jesus in the humble offerings of
bread and wine which become for us his very personal presence. Today
salvation has come to us in the home of our hearts. We then realize that
“The Son of Man has come to search out and save what was lost.”