Thirty – First Sunday
II Thessalonians 1:11-2:2
This past week I had one of the events that I have had on my calendar for a while that I really looked forward to. On Tuesday of this week, I went pheasant hunting with my 90 year old father. Recently he canceled our fishing trip for next year with us boys, but he still can hunt, and he can still shoot fairly well. The big difference is now he is driven around in a golf cart, and when the dog goes on point, he gets out leans against the golf cart, and fires his gun. He leaned against the cart, so he would not get knocked over. Hopefully all of us have those things we desire to happen so much, and when they do we want to soak in each moment? Now do we have the same desire for Christ and the Eucharist?
In our Gospel we hear about a tax collector named Zacchaeus, whose name means “righteous” or “pure.” He was a tax collector, so he would despised, but he was the head tax collector, so he would be very rich. Zacchaeus had a strong desire to see Jesus, it had to be strong because he does what would not be expected of him. Zacchaeus runs, and he climbs a tree, dignified adults in time of Jesus would not run or climb trees. Besides, he was wealthy enough, he could have paid someone to run ahead, or to push their way through the crowd. He would have had on nice fancy cloths, and how silly he would of looked, sitting in the tree. The crowd would have thought he lost his mind. He has a great desire to see Jesus, and he is willing to do whatever it takes, even if it means looking silly. Then something amazing happens, and the only thing I have to relate to it is the times I have been in St. Peter’s Square seeing the Pope at the General Audience. When the Pope gets close, everyone begins to scream out his name, hoping that the Pope will pass a glance at them. When Jesus gets close to Zacchaeus, it is not him who is screaming the name of Jesus, it is Jesus who screams the name of Zacchaeus. As Zacchaeus comes down, Jesus then invites himself to Zacchaeus’s home. The crowd now grumbles, but Zacchaeus, holds his ground and declares to everyone, he will give half of his possessions to the poor, and he will pay back four times over whatever he has cheated out of someone. Jesus now calls Zacchaeus a son of Abraham, because what was lost is now found.
What can we take from this story? What are we able to do right now to desire Jesus Christ and the Eucharist more in our lives? What can we change in our thoughts, are words, our actions to show that we desire him more? In the story it appears that Zacchaeus is doing all the seeking, but Jesus is also seeking Zacchaeus. There is nowhere in Sacred Scriptures that says, Jesus and Zacchaeus knew each other, yet it is Jesus who calls out the name of “Zacchaeus.” Then it is Jesus who invites Zacchaeus to something more. We need to know that Jesus is always inviting us. Finally, are we willingly like Zacchaeus to have our lives changed, to turn back to God, and to seek forgiveness for what we have done wrong?
It is here in this Eucharist that our daily lives and our worship become one. May we have the desire like Zacchaeus to see Jesus, may we accept his invitation as he calls us by name, and may allow our lives to be changed, and respond with great zeal, as Zacchaeus did.