From today’s Gospel (Luke 19:1-10):
‘Today salvation has come to this house, because this man too is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek out and save what was lost.’
This is the story of Zacchaeus, a senior tax collector and wealthy man, and his conversion from sin to purity. Zacchaeus had, for a long time, taken from the poor and built up his own wealth in the process. But Jesus had other plans for him. He spotted Zacchaeus as he climbed a sycamore tree and insisted he stay at his house that night. Zacchaeus was overjoyed at this and stated he would give half of his property to the poor and pay back everything he cheated from people, fourfold!
This conversion from sin of Zacchaeus is quite dramatic! He gives up so much when face to face with God. Yet, wouldn’t we do the same? If we were face to face with God wouldn’t we disregard everything else in our lives and focus only on Him? Wouldn’t we focus solely on His instructions and His wants and desires for our lives?
Zacchaeus is, for me, a fine example of how we will be when, God willing, we actually meet the Father face to face. At that very moment we will realise that our entire lives have been completely and unconditionally in service to Him. We will realise that He should always have been our focal point because He created us and He loves us more than anyone else could ever love us.
Yet we already encounter God every single day in our lives, especially in Holy Mass when he is really and truly present in the Eucharist, and in the sacrament of Reconciliation. The next time you are about to receive the Eucharist or go into Confession, think about Zacchaeus and consider what charitable work you can do following your encounter with God. Ask Him what He wants you to do for Him. Invite Him entirely into your heart and ask Him if He is willing to use you as an instrument of His love and peace.