Beads of Joy 11-16-10
I Must Stay At Your House
©2010 James Dacey, Jr. SFO
What an absolutely exciting day for Zacchaeus. Here is a man who was seeking Jesus out as He was passing, all he wanted to do was see Him. But with the crowd being so large and pressing so hard around Jesus, it was impossible. Zacchaeus in his wisdom thought to go above the crowd, and look over it to see Jesus, so he climbed up a sycamore tree. Today we are reflecting on Luke 19:1-10 (Jesus visits Zacchaeus). The look on Zacchaeus' face must have been filled with amazement and Joy, when Jesus looked up at him and said, "Zacchaeus, make haste and come down; for I must stay at your house today." I wonder how any of us might have reacted if we knew Jesus was coming over right now. And in Zacchaeus' case, he couldn't get home before Jesus, and clean up the house. And of cause get rid of all that might be evil or ungodly in His sight. It's actually mainly because Zacchaeus' cell phone was out, because everyone knows in Jericho, the cell signal is horrible. LOL. Ok, just making sure everyone is keeping up with me. Wow, you never know what to expect from me. I am always thrilled and filled with so much Joy when I can share the gospel.
What would we do if Jesus did indeed on a surprise visit came over to our home? Remember on this particular visit to Zacchaeus, Jesus was uninvited and completely unexpected. I wonder how would any of us feel, embarrassed, ashamed, humiliated, thrilled; what an absolute mix of emotion when an unexpected, uninvited guest shows up. And in this particular case it was Jesus, the Christ, the Son of the living God. Now that is truly a game changer, when it comes to all that. Many wondered why He chose Zacchaeus, I think it to some degree to be pretty obvious. Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector and he was very wealthy. Tax collectors where known to lie and deceive the people for way more than they owed in taxes, so they can gain from it personally. If anything Zacchaeus needed forgiveness and mercy, which he could only get from Jesus. Maybe it was his subconscious that was seeking Jesus out, knowing He needed forgiveness and mercy. Maybe someone else was praying for him, just like we do for others, and in that, Jesus went to him in answer to others prayers. Zacchaeus repented that day, big time. He must have surprised many people that day. Look at the last two verses, they sum up this event beautifully, "And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost."
Climbing that tree is such a representation of what we must do above whatever is being said around us that blocks us from seeking out Jesus. Our lives are filled with so much chaos at times, that indeed we must climb above the noise and get over the top of it to "see" Jesus, to "pray" with Jesus and to "spend time" with Jesus. In my own research I came across a wonderful writing by Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio. If you have the time you won't regret taking the time reading his article.
Reflection by St. Augustine of Hippo:
Saint Augustine of Hippo had a most special, very insightful sermon on this particular gospel. Look at this excerpt:
"Let Zacchaeus grasp the sycamore tree, and let the humble person climb the cross. That is little enough, merely to climb it. We must not be ashamed of the cross of Christ, but we must fix it on our foreheads, where the seat of shame is. Above where all our blushes show is the place we must firmly fix that for which we should never blush. As for you, I rather think you make fun of the sycamore, and yet that is what has enabled me to see Jesus. You make fun of the sycamore, because you are just a person, but “the foolishness of God is wiser than men." Sermon 174.3.
Always be ready for Jesus, trusting Him.
Always, always, always, seek Him out.
"Jesus, I trust in You."
Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr SFO
Today we pray the Sorrowful Mysteries
1. Agony in the Garden
2. The Scourging at the Pillar
3. Crowing with Thorns
4. Carrying of the Cross
5. The Crucifixion of Jesus