‘He (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.’ Luke 19:1-4
What a fun story! It’s a religion class and Vacation Bible School favorite—and for good reason. There’s lots of visual imagery and action, just what children like and will remember. First, it’s not just any tree but a sycamore tree and a man so short he can’t see over the crowds ... running ahead of them to find himself a good high spot from which to hail this Jesus-person.
But with all that slap and dash, it’s possible to overlook some deeper aspects to the encounter.
Jesus was there then. Not tomorrow or the next day, or next week, but on that day. It was a now or never kind of opportunity. As Our Lord says a few lines further on, “Today salvation has come to this house.” Today.
Is Jesus coming to my town today? Is He ‘about to pass my way’?
He is here for me every day. Jesus lives in my church. The Bread of Life awaits me at every Mass. Reconciliation can be mine for the asking almost whenever I want it. What am I waiting for?
“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.” Luke 19:10