Yesterday, I heard a beautiful homily based on Zaccheus in Luke 19. The priest highlighted that Zaccheus was a tax collector, a sinner, a traitor to his people, a thief, a lonely friendless man. The priest said Zaccheus wanted to see Jesus because Jesus was a friend to the sinners, the tax collector- Matthew was one of his followers. Upon Jesus seeing Zaccheus in the tree, Jesus told him “come down I want to stay with you today.”
The priest pointed out Jesus did not tell Zaccheus he was a sinner going to hell, he simply said “I want to stay with you” and in the presence of Jesus, Zaccheus chose to become a follower, chose a radical conversion.
Jesus wants to stay with people. One of the greatest gifts given to us by God is free will. The ability to choose. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is never about condemnation, the shaming of people; it is about choosing to let Jesus stay with you.
God created us, He loves us all, God is patient with every single one of His creations. He is slow to anger, full of mercy and compassion. He is waiting on us to see if we choose to let His son, Jesus, stay with us.
We must teach Jesus. Jesus the lover of our soul. Jesus friend to everyone.
Your almighty power, Lord, created the world out of material that had no form at all…….But you have chosen to measure, count, and weigh everything you do. You can show your great power whenever you wish, and no one can stand up against it. In your sight the whole world is a grain of sand, barely heavy enough to tip a pair of scales, a drop of dew on the ground in the morning. You are powerful enough to do anything, but you are merciful to everyone; you overlook our sins and give us time to repent. You love everything that exists; you do not despise anything that you have made. If you had not liked it, you would not have made it in the first place. How could anything last, if you did not want it to? How could it endure, if you had not created it? You have allowed it all to exist, O Lord, because it is yours, and you love every living thing. (Wisdom 11:17-26 GNBDK)