Tuesday of the Thirty-ThirdWeek in Ordinary Time

To be sycamores

He came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town. Now a man there named Zacchaeus, who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, was seeking to see who Jesus was; but he could not see him because of the crowd, for he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” And he came down quickly and received him with joy. Lk 19,1-6

After the Matthew’s rising from the table of the taxes and following Jesus, Zacchaeus, who was his boss, may have thought that it was a momentary infatuation and that soon he would have been back to his lucrative business of publican. Since this did not happen, he would have asked to himself what Matthew had found in this new rabbi (teacher) which was most interesting of the wealth and that question would have probably also sourced in him the desire to know Jesus or, as in our times it has happened to Marcello Candia, he would have noticed how little happiness is given by the self-used money and he has decided to live a life more full of authentic values. Probably the two reasons were summed together and Zacchaeus took the decision to go to meet Jesus, but, being small in stature in the middle of a big crowd and being full of initiative, he decided to climb a sycamore tree to see him well. All that work to know him did not escape to Jesus and, while passing under the sycamore tree, he tells him: “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house”. A new conversion is born. In this funny scene a key role is played by the sycamore, without which Zacchaeus would have remained on the ground, submerged and dragged by the crowd. How many people, even today, are tired of the life they have, they would like to meet the Lord, but they cannot find a sycamore tree on which to climb. Who are, today, the sycamores? The sycamores are those who have truly met the Lord, they are converts, they have changed their lives and they can show to us Jesus in a new enrapturing way. For us, as we said during a morning prayer, the sycamore was Oliviero Gulot, the day when we attended that first meeting of prayer which was held in the parish of the Holy Family of Saronno. One thing is clear: if we want to see the Lord in a new manner, we have to climb over those people who see and live him in an enrapturing mode. To be announcers of the gospel is to be sycamores.

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