31st Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
Jesus 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.
Zacchaeus--the man in today's gospel reading--is very short. He is curious about Jesus. He really wants to see Jesus, but because there are so many people around, he cannot see him.
Has this ever happened to you? You really wanted to see something, or really wanted to do something, but because you are small, you could not?
And this is something pretty important--Zacchaeus wants to see Jesus.
Jesus, the Good Shepherd.
Jesus, the Light of the World.
Jesus is someone I really want to see, too, don't you?
It would be upsetting not to get to see him because everyone is bigger, and everyone is in the way.
Zacchaeus has a problem.
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because Jesus was going to pass that way.
That is a good plan, isn't it? I mean, maybe not the safest plan if he isn't good at climbing, but it would help him see over everyone's heads, wouldn't it? Way up high, peeking through the leaves, Zacchaeus could get a good look at Jesus.
What does Jesus do?
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.”
Jesus sees Zacchaeus.
This is even more than Zacchaeus had hoped for. Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus, and now Jesus is seeing Zacchaeus! They are looking at each other!
Not only that, but what does Jesus say? His name. He calls Zacchaeus by name. He knows Zacchaeus. And now, Zacchaeus knows that Jesus knows him.
I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me. (John 10:14)
Zacchaeus is filled with joy.
It would be so good to see Jesus and know that Jesus sees us.
It would be so good to know Jesus, and know that Jesus knows us.
Can we do this, too?
Where can we see Jesus? What do you think?
Can we see Jesus at church?
WE know that Jesus is there in the bread and in the wine, because he wants so much to be with us. When we gather at Mass we remember what he said and did at the Last Supper, and Jesus is with us again, in the bread and the wine.
Jesus took the bread and said,
this is my body
and he gave them the wine saying,
this is my blood
Can you live without your blood? No! He gives us his life!
Can we see Jesus somewhere else?
Wouldn't it be good to have quiet, private time, just you and Jesus? Do you have a special place, maybe a corner of your room, where you can put a Bible and a small candle, and maybe a picture or a cross? Could you ask an adult to help you set up a special place where you can sit and be with Jesus for a short while? Maybe an adult could read a few words from the Bible to you, or could print Jesus' name on a card for you to look at. Then you can sit all by yourself, with no one in the way, and you can look at Jesus and know that Jesus is looking at you, too.