OCTOBER 30, 2022

In the presence of Jesus, Zacchaeus, the little man with a big story, found out who he, really was and, what he was made for.

That’s the way it is with Jesus.




His big story wasn’t impressive. The whole town knew of his corruption, and his exploitation, Many could tell a story of being diddled by him into paying more tax than was just. He carried this burden all the time and somehow the arrival of Jesus impelled him to climb a tree so that his life would be changed. Our stories are all a mixture of good and evil. We carry burdens of guilt and sin and hurt and anger. We need to get free and be the self we can be.

Zaccheus found he wasn’t the mean person he had been showing all his life. He found that restoration of ill-gotten gains, and a promise to help his neighbour, would bring more happiness than his past. He found in meeting Jesus the acceptance that allowed him to change, to go public on his change, and to continue a changed life no matter what others thought.

He was made for community, belonging and sharing; not for isolation, loneliness and greed. He knew now he was made for love for he found himself loved by God in Jesus, so that the one everyone was talking about visited his house now.

It didn’t make Jesus popular. They blamed him for going to the house of someone like that. It’s often like that; we would like Jesus to look down on the ones we look down on. The only time Jesus looks down on us is from his cross – to raise us up to the heights of love and humanity we are made for.

Lord Jesus we are made in your image;
help us to live in your likeness

Donal Neary S.J.