Today we hear the story of Zacchaeus who climbs the sycamore tree to see Jesus, who then invites himself to Zacchaeus’ house for tea. If we think first of Zacchaeus a little man, but powerful as the chief tax collector, he was disliked, if not hated by the Jews. The Gospel continues as he showed curiosity in wanting to see Jesus, determination to climb the tree, surprise that Jesus invited himself to his house for tea. We can imagine the joy and forgiveness as a result of him meeting Jesus. As a result of meeting and getting to know Jesus, Zacchaeus was a changed man, he was full of joy and thanks. Zacchaeus promised to give his money to the poor and to repay those he had cheated.
Meanwhile, those outside who also wanted to see Jesus grumbled, were jealous, judgemental and questioned Jesus’ decision. They did not understand what was happening. Jesus tries to explain at the end of the Gospel that: Today the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.
This reminded me of the story of the Good Shepherd who went in search of the lost sheep. Zacchaeus may not have realised he was lost, but he was ready to be found and to be saved. In our lives, in different ways, Jesus is asking us to invite him to our house, into our lives. In today’s Gospel we are asked to … imagine if this happened to us, what we would do and how we would feel?