If we take seriously the Gospel accounts, and I hope we do, we have no choice but to be people filled with hope. Jesus comes to seek and to save what was lost. The transformation that took place in the life of Zacchaeus is available to us all. The love of Jesus Christ which permeated the heart and soul of Zacchaeus is the same love bestowed upon each of us. Are we grateful for the gift of faith which has been extended to us by the extravagant grace of God?
In both chapter 15 and chapter 19 of Luke's Gospel we hear about the grumblings and murmurings of the Scribes, Pharisees, and others about Jesus welcoming sinners and eating with them. One thing becomes evident as we review these accounts. People who are busy murmuring and complaining fail to see the goodness of God present in their midst. The transforming love that Zacchaeus experienced from Jesus was available to others, but they were too busy complaining to recognize the gift. Thus, I believe we need to ask ourselves, "How is my attitude?"
Are we filled with the joy of the Lord? When we have a conversation with someone and they walk away from us at the end of the conversation, have they encountered the love of the living God in us and through us? Are we life-giving people? Are we building up the Kingdom of God?
Zacchaeus reminds us of the power of God. He also reminds us that we have much to be grateful for in regard to the blessings poured upon us by our gracious and loving God. Let us be people of gratitude. When we are appreciative of the blessings in our lives we will grow in union and communion with God. The joy of the Lord will exude from every fiber of our being and we will profoundly experience the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love. That is the gift of the transforming love of Jesus Christ!