Friday, November 1, 2013

The Sunday Word

This weekend we finds ourselves at the Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time - amazingly the Advent wreath is just about ready to be made.

Zacchaeus is part of our Gospel story this week. He is the “chief tax collector” and he’s rich. And given that he’s only wee little man, he’s got this Napoleonic complex going, and it all adds up to an ego the size of Texas.

The point is that Zacchaeus thinks he is the last person Jesus is going to notice. So he does something that’s low: He climbs up and into a tree to get a better view.

Just like the song learned in childhood: “Zacchaeus was a wee little man, and a wee little man was he. He climbed up in a sycamore tree, for the Lord he wanted to see.” Something about Jesus made Zacchaeus curious.

His ego is crumbling. He was a revenue agent of the imperial Roman government; now he’s a squatty seeker sitting in a sycamore.

The huge sound of an ego crashing gets Jesus’ attention. He encounters Zacchaeus, and promptly invites himself over for dinner.

Jesus comes to him. Jesus approached him. Jesus invited himself into Zacchaeus’ life.

The one who was a seeker, is now the one who is sought.

That’s the next thing to notice about this story. Not only was Jesus merely passing through Jericho on his way to somewhere else, Jesus comes to Zacchaeus.