Zacchaeus the Tax Collector
There are three things we can learn from this Zacchaeus’ story that will make us happy:
First, we must be very careful not to judge others because of their appearance. We are told that those who accompanied Jesus began to grumble when he chose to be a guest of Zaccheaus. They could not believe that He chooses to stay with a sinner, when in fact there are so many “holy” people in town. Yes in the eyes of the people Zacchaeaus was a contravida but in the eyes of Jesus he was a vida. It is because he undergoes a profound conversion and his announcement that he would give half of his possessions to the poor and would pay back four times the amount if anyone had been defrauded, prove it. In this sense only God knows what is in the hearts and minds of the people we know, so we have to be very careful not to pass harsh judgments on them.
Second, like Zacchaeus, we must desire to see Jesus passing by. Zacchaeus left the crowd and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus. For us, what is our own tree to climb in order to see Jesus? It is easy for us to see Jesus in the morning when we wake up and at night when we sleep precisely because at these times we are not busy with our schedules, works and concerns. But we must find a tree to climb from time to time so as not to lose sight of God’s presence in ordinary moments of our ordinary daily life. A simple moment of prayer helps us rise beyond and above our busy schedules and moments.
Third, seek forgiveness with genuine humility and sincere sorrow. All of us know that Zacchaeus had committed a serious mistake. He had enriched himself materially by using his position of power to defraud the people. I’m sure his greed gave him a troubled conscience.But he sought Jesus with genuine humility and sincere sorrow by climbing a sycamore tree, only children and slaves did this, despite the fact that he was a prominent official in the city and Jesus forgives him. For us sinners, we are forgiven by God because: 1) we admit our sins and wrongdoings; 2) we amend ourselves or avoid repeating the same offence; 3) we repair or restitute the damage caused by our sins like what Zaccheus did. Zaccheaus said: “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor.” He also admits having defrauded others and resolves to make amends.
At the end let us reflect these words from an Unknown source who had said that there are Ten Rules for Happier Living, namely:
- Give something away (no strings attached)
- Do a kindness (and forget it)
- Spend a few minutes with the aged (their experience is a priceless guidance)
- Look intently into the face of a baby (and marvel)
- Laugh often (it’s life’s lubricant)
- Give thanks (a thousand times a day is not enough)
- Pray (or you will lose the way)
- Work (with vim and vigor)
- Plan as though you’ll live forever (because you will)
- Live as though you’ll die tomorrow (because you will on some tomorrow)
OPTION 01, 02, 03,