“He came down quickly and received him with joy.”

Jesus, going through Jericho, encounters Zacchaeus, a short tax collector who desires to see Jesus so much that he climbs a tree to do so (Lk 19:1-10).  Jesus speaks to him in the tree, telling him to come down since He plans to stay with him that day.  Upon descending Zacchaeus vows to give half his possession to the poor and to restore those he cheated four-fold.  In response Jesus tells him that he has found salvation as one of the lost descendants of Abraham who is now found.  We are told that Zacchaeus was seeking Jesus thus he put forth extraordinary effort to see Him.  Little did He know that it was Jesus seeking, and finding, him.  And when he is found, he receives Jesus with great joy, as we read in the headline.  Jesus is forever seeking the lost sheep, those who have gone astray, those who have left the safety of the sheepfold to follow errant ways.  When Jesus breaks through the barriers we put up, when we encounter Him in a special way, do we receive Him with joy?  Are we, like Zacchaeus, able to give up those things we possess (or rather, that possess us) so that salvation will come to us as well?  And, as with this tax collector again, are we able to not only restore our broken relationships but make them into our most treasured friendships?  Let us never fail to receive Jesus with joy as He appears to us in our fellow men and most especially as He condescends to be with us in the miraculous gift of the Eucharist so that we also will be saved and will bring others along as well.

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