Archive for December 17th, 2018

Luke 19:1-27Curiosity and Kingdom Building

Monday, December 17, 2018

Tree of Zacchaeus

“Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I have need of you today.”

Too frequently we see our relationship with Jesus as one in which we have need of his help and advice.  Today we have the opportunity to think about how Jesus tells us that he has need of us; he calls to us as his adopted sisters and brothers to join with him in kingdom building.  This is a lesson we might too easily miss as we bury ourselves in the flurry of activity we call life.

Yesterday’s Gospel reading was a similar story from Matthew 25:14-30 in which we see how serious God is about his trust in us and about his expectation that we will return his goodness to him multiplied rather than hoarded.  In Matthew’s story Jesus is teaching his disciples.  In today’s story Jesus speaks to those who have shown some curiosity about who is and what he represents.  Jesus does not hold back and in fact, the end of the parable is a stark telling of bitter consequence.  It is one which we might have difficulty reconciling with the gentle image we have of Jesus.  Today we see how serious Jesus is about those who have much stored away and about those who refuse to share.  Today we see how serious Jesus is about those who willingly share all that they have and all that they are.

From yesterday’s MAGNIFICAT “Day by Day” reflection by Dom Anscar Vonier: In the things of God and the Holy Spirit, wealth is the rule; the more you have, the more you receive . . . there is nothing that pleases God more than to enrich his creatures, and whenever he sees a man making good use of his gifts he pours more and more upon him with lavishness which is astonishing; as if in the school of God all the worldly methods of giving and taking were reversed, and there were other standards instead . . . In the things of the Spirit this is the rule of God.  Because God is rich, there are inexhaustible treasures for bestowal, and he pours them forth ungrudgingly. 

Jesus leaves no doubt about what he means when he refers to the faithful; he is clear about asking his disciples to give without fear for the future.  He is clear about how we must give over control, how we must release our anxiety, how we must trust him in all matters while we witness to his message.  Zacchaeus has trouble with these concepts. So may we . . . the message of inversion is a paradox we want to believe, but against which we continue to struggle.

Between his interaction with the tax collector Zacchaeus and his entry into Jerusalem, Jesus will tell us a parable that explains what kingdom building is . . . but we must be curious enough to ask him questions, we must be probing enough to examine our actions, and we must be questioning enough to witness to this message.  Kingdom building is about the increase of talents, it is about following Christ where ever he leads . . . and it begins with our own curiosity about the message the Teacher is bringing to the world when he calls to each of us . . . hurry and come down; for I have need of you today!

A re-post from November 14, 2011.

Cameron, Peter John. “Day By Day.” MAGNIFICAT. 13.11 (2011): 178-179. Print.  

For more information on Zacchaeus’ sycamore tree, click on the image above or go to:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/emeryjl/511039682/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/emeryjl/511062591/

Image from: http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-photo/feliz_carolina/7/1251042675/tree-of-zacchaeus.jpg/tpod.html

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