Tuesday the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time
(Rev 3: 1 – 6, 14 – 22; Ps. 15; Luke 19: 1 – 10)
Each of us has a family story, unique, personal – perhaps heard many times and in the telling, there is a dynamism of bonding, a sense of tradition and of belonging and we need that. St. Luke recounts a family story, one that is common to all of us because it is about one of our ancestors in our family of faith – he belongs to us and we belong to him – Zacchaeus the tax collector who was short in stature.
In reﬂecting on this Gospel, three words came to mind – I’m sure there are more but I’ll keep to these three: curiosity, freedom, and acceptance. There was a curiosity on the divine and human levels: Zacchaeus curious to see Jesus and Jesus to see him – it was a “must”! There was freedom: Zacchaeus had the freedom to climb a tree and it did not matter what others thought and Jesus who had determined to proceed to Jerusalem had the freedom to stop – you might say, just to see Zacchaeus. And then there was acceptance: “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” Perhaps, jumping down Zacchaeus received Jesus “with joy.”
Jesus’s ﬁnal words crown this meeting: “Today salvation has come to this house…” to this man, short in stature and also short in another way. In his humanity Zacchaeus is limited by his history, his choices, failures, imperfections, and yet, Jesus, Salvation Incarnate, comes to him, stays with Him, and dines with him and his friends. Zacchaeus could have said, “Why me?” and Jesus could have replied, “Why not!” I have come to and for people like yourself, people in need and desirous of true life.
Like this ancestor in faith, we are short, limited in our souls by original sin, history, choices, etc., etc., and yet none of these deter the Lord, Salvation Himself, from coming to us as He does in this gathering of faith – through the proclamation of the Sacred Word, through the celebration of this Holy Eucharist. Jesus has been called “This Tremendous Lover” and so He is for us. Because this is what it means to be God, our God. For conviction, for belief in our God that in accepting Him we grow in love, the love that consumes us.
The best commentary on Scripture is Scripture itself – we hear it in the reading from Revelation: “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.”