“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.” // Luke 19:10
On tiptoe, her eyes barely came above the library countertop. Her stack of books sat ready, checked out by the volunteer who was offering her a treat from a plate on the counter. “Wouldn’t you like one?” he asked again, gesturing at the Valentine cupcakes, elaborately frosted in pink and white with glittery heart decorations.
What preschooler doesn’t want a glittery Valentine cupcake? But she bit her lip, shook her pigtails, collected her books, and stepped back, her feet flat on the floor again. “No, thank you, have a nice day,” she said and pranced off toward the door. I hurried to catch up, grabbing her small hand as we stepped out into the gray winter morning. “What’s up?” I said. “You didn’t want a cupcake?”
“No, it’s Lent!” she said. “But I didn’t want to hurt his feelings in case he wasn’t a Catholic.”
In today’s Gospel, we meet Zacchaeus, a vertically-challenged tax collector who has not been the poster child for holiness. His reputation for making money by overcharging others was typical for tax collectors of his time. Despite Zacchaeus’ well-known status as a cheater, Jesus seeks him out for some one-on-one conversation, inviting Himself to Zacchaeus’ house.
As a result of this encounter, Zacchaeus declares he will pay back fourfold anyone he has cheated. He’s a new man. Being noticed by Jesus after having been overlooked and despised by so many others has completely changed his life. Does this mean Zacchaeus will never sin again? Probably not. It does mean that he’s on a new path of salvation, following in Jesus’ footsteps, walking toward holiness.
In the Prologue to Saint Benedict’s Rule, he references today’s Psalm (15) as the roadmap to following Christ and dwelling “in God’s tent” (RB, Prologue 23-27). Becoming more like Jesus is a process. It’s up to us each day to point our feet along the path toward Christ and run in the direction He leads us.
Every small choice can be part of a daily recommitment to Christ. Let one of your decisions today be a conscious, intentional affirmation of your identity as Jesus’ disciple.Every small choice can be part of a daily recommitment to Christ. // Abbey Dupuy Click To Tweet