The WORD in other words (2022) by Fr Chito Lorenzo SVD — Japan
Tuesday 33rd Week in Ordinary Time
Photo: Sacred Heart of Jesus, Centre Thérésianum, Kinshasa, Congo
Question: If Jesus had an hour to visit the earth and spend it with someone, where do you think he would go? To the Vatican, to see the Pope? To the Secretary- General of the United Nations? The possibilities are endless. But I feel he would go to a person we consider evil and give that person the chance to repent.
Imagine yourself to be Zacchaeus, the chief tax collector in today’s Gospel reading. People in town consider you to be a sinner because you are working for the Romans, collecting taxes for the empire, and often keeping some money for yourself. They see you as a bad person. You know that you are a terrible person because of what you are doing, but you cannot seem to escape from the temptation to get rich.
Then Jesus comes along and calls you by name! You are surprised that he would even know your name! You, whom everyone considers a sinner, have been asked by Jesus to prepare a place for him at your house! Jesus knows you. No matter how bad people think you are, or how bad you think you are, He wants to stay with you. You have been called by name. You have been acknowledged. Your existence has been given purpose.
Zacchaeus’ meeting with Jesus produces a change in his very being. He gives half his belongings to the poor, and to those he extorted, he will repay them fourfold. His attachment to riches melts away and is replaced by a desire to follow God, do what is right, and help those in need. This is what happens when Jesus comes into our lives. We experience God’s love for us.
Jesus is calling you by name. And he wants to stay with you. Open your heart. Let him enter and experience your life being transformed.