I know I can always find some message for me in the gospels and the readings for the day. But some days it’s like I’m in New York City’s Times Square and God has written out the message in big, bright, blazing neon right to me. Today is one of those days. In the gospel, we read about Zacchaeus, who is short. I have an affinity for anyone short and anyone whose name begins with Z. And then we read that he climbed a sycamore tree, probably much like the one outside of my kitchen window with its immense leaves that provide a shady canopy for my yard. That was enough to get my attention. But what really spoke to me in the gospel was how Zacchaeus hustled down that tree and received Jesus with joy, eager to welcome Jesus into his home and eager to do what he needed to be worthy of that gift.
The word flashing bright in neon today to me is joy. I don’t have to climb a tree to welcome Jesus into my house, my life, my heart. He is here. I have to open my heart and say welcome. I have to be willing to give of myself, both material things and my time, my energy, my own joy.
In the first reading, the elder scribe Eleazar refuses to take the easy way out. He shows great courage, and yes, joy, in doing what is right.
My prayer today is for God’s help for me to find and experience the joy of Zacchaeus and Eleazar that is inside of me.
Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook