A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 19:1-10
At that time Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way.
When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said, "Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house." And he came down quickly and received him with joy. When they saw this, they began to grumble, saying, "He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner." But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, "Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone, I shall repay it four times over." And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost."
REFLECTION: "Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house." And he came down quickly and received him with joy…. "Today salvation has come to this house… For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost."
I fell in love with Jesus when I read John 8:7 . I was probably 15 years old, and this verse caught my eye. “Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her”. I was in awe! I said to myself, "What a good answer to come up with, I really like this man!" He is not only compassionate, but so smart! An imperceptible flame of love had been ignited by Jesus in my heart.
Over the years I played the roll of Zacchaeus, a sinner that craved and sought God. Jesus played His part through different people that loved Him and who were compassionate towards me by listening to me, giving me their time, encouragement, correction, and guidance.
Millions of humans of all ages, color and cultures are waiting for a smile, for an invitation, for acknowledgement that they exist. They wait for somebody to LISTEN to them, waiting to be treated with love and respect, waiting to be deemed worthy of somebody’s time and prayers.
Those people are not necessarily in a remote location without electricity where Christianity is not known. They may be our next-door neighbor, coworker, friend, or even a family member. They crave something, but they do not know what it is. Lonely and hopeless, they may resort to sin in a worthless attempt to fill that void.
Let’s be Jesus’ instruments, pray for their conversion, LISTEN to them, dedicate time to them, make them feel loved, so that they “receive him with joy”… “for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost”.
Holy Mother of God, pray for us.