You have to love this story of Zacchaeus, I think. I think there are two main components of the story that really stand out for me as hallmarks of the spiritual life.
The first is Zacchaeus’s openness. First, he is so eager to see Jesus that he climbs up a tree to get a look at him. We don’t have to go that far. All we have to do is spend some time in the Eucharistic Chapel, or even just some quiet moments reflecting on Scripture. All of those are ways to see Jesus, but like Zacchaeus, we have to overcome obstacles to get a look at him. For Zacchaeus, that meant climbing up a tree to overcome the fact that he was apparently vertically challenged! But for you and me, that might mean clearing our schedule, making our time with Jesus a priority. Zacchaeus’s openness also included inviting Jesus in, despite his sinfulness. He was willing to make up for his sin and change everything once he found the Lord. We might ask ourselves today what we need to change, and how willing we are to invite Jesus into our lives, despite our brokenness.
The second thing that stands out for me is what Jesus says to those who chided him for going into a sinner’s house. “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.” What wonderful words those are for us to hear. Because we know how lost we have been at times, and how far we have wandered from our Lord. But the Lord seeks us out anyway, because we are too valuable for him to lose.
And all we have to do is to be open to the Lord’s work in our lives, just like Zacchaeus was. What a joy it will be then to hear those same words Jesus said to him: “Today salvation has come to this house.”