He entered Jericho and was passing through it. A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax-collector and was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycomore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way.
When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.’ So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. All who saw it began to grumble and said, ‘He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.’
Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, ‘Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.’
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
By looking around at creation, we can see the order and goodness in the world. We can see that comes from a good God that holds it in existence by his love. We can probably even think of moments in which we looked up at the vast sky and thought to ourselves, “God is so much bigger than us.”
Today’s Gospel helps us imagine the goodness of God from a different perspective. Zacchaeus finds out that Jesus is passing through the town, and he climbs a tree in order to get a glimpse of him. When Zacchaeus gains the ability to see Christ, everything changes for him. He has an encounter with Jesus Christ, the Creator and Redeemer of humanity, who became so small for us in taking on our flesh. Moreover, this God-man desires that Zacchaeus receive him, a desire that is the same for each of us. It is in the Mass, and in the time we spend before Christ in the Eucharist, that we receive him. It is this same Creator and Redeemer of the universe who becomes so small for us in the Eucharist and desires to transform our lives.
Grace of Communion
Thou come to me at holy Mass. Let me at Holy Communion approach Thee with awe and love in whom resides all perfection and from whom I am allowed to gain it. Let me come to the Sanctifier to be sanctified. Let me come to Thee to learn my duty and to receive grace to do it. At other times of the day I am reminded of watching, toiling, struggling, and suffering; but, at this moment I am reminded of Thy gifts towards me a sinner.
I am reminded that I can do nothing, and that Thou do everything. This is especially the moment of grace. I come to see and experience Thy mercies. I come before Thee as the helpless beings during Thy ministry, who were brought on beds and couches for a cure. I come to be made whole.
May each Holy Communion, as it comes, find me more and more like Thee (who at these times becomes a little child for my sake)—more simple-minded, more humble, more holy, more affectionate, more resigned, more happy, more full of Thee. Amen.
—St. John Henry NewmanPlease share the Good Word with your friends!