Today’s Gospel puts us in touch with Christ’s call to each one of us. Zacchaeus was despised because he collected taxes for the Roman Empire, but at the same time he was rich. He wants to see Christ, but since he was short and there were so many people, he climbed a tree called sycamore to see him better. Christ sees him, calls him and asks him to come and eat at his house. He hastened down and greeted him with joy.
Christ wants to go eat at the home of someone who is considered a sinner. Zacchaeus understood what Christ is asking of him: to share his goods with the underprivileged and if he has ever deceived people, to repair them by giving four times more than he deceived. It is about sharing and giving as much as possible. It is Christ who takes the initiative. How could Zacchaeus imagine that Christ would ask him to come down and go to his house? This is Christ’s great mercy on sinners. Christ had to stay at home. From this encounter comes a great joy and happiness.
Zaccheus is cheerful as the crowd insults him. Christ comes to save what was lost. Christ gives himself totally to Zacchaeus, wanting to enter his house.
Do we hear as Zacchaeus the call of Christ who wants to eat with us? He wants to live, to live with you and me, in an intimate and delicate way.
In St. John we read: ‘If anyone loves me, my Father and I will come to him and make our home in him’ (Jn 14:23). These words are equivalent to what Revelation says: ‘I am at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door for me, I will come into his house and have supper with him and he with me (Rev 3:20).
It is the desire of Christ, who is willing to give his life for each one of us. Christ touches the innermost part of our spirit. He knows us, with our sins, weaknesses and miseries. Nothing stops him from living with us in the Eucharist and in continuous prayer. Prayer in silence and in the intimacy of home, even for a minute, opens our hearts so that he may enter, no matter how sinful we may be. It is only necessary that we repent.
The love of the Father transforms our lives. The world has good things to offer you, as long as you do not become a slave to it. The great struggle you are facing is not to despise anything, but to get your authenticity as a child of our Heavenly Father. You are the beloved of the Father. This truth will allow you to get away from so many distractions that confuse you, endangering your intimate life with Christ.