Zacchaeus, an urban dweller, was a joyful man after his encounter with Jesus. Everyone at his home, work, society and public gatherings must have been surprised. His critics would have been suspicious about his extraordinary generosity and wondered how long his enthusiasm would last; when would his bubble burst? Zacchaeus, however, would never forget that when everyone criticised Jesus for going to his house for a meal, it was Jesus who affirmed him, and called him the child of Abraham. Jesus was the rock-solid foundation on which Zacchaeus’ life was now flourishing and no storm, however strong, could uproot and slam him to the ground. Jesus’ presence was his protection, and today it is ours as well. Zacchaeus brought his broken heart to Jesus Christ, and found healing and the gift of a joyful life. He would have said along with king David, “My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise” (Psalm 51:17). Earlier what mattered to Zacchaeus was accumulation of wealth as power and prestige. He now had a new heart as God has promised. Like Zacchaeus, we too have the promise of the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit. When legions of the evil one attack us with temptations that entice and ensnare, we don’t have to fall prey to them. Remember Jesus’ presence is with you to overcome; call upon the name of Jesus instead of enjoying morsels of forbidden bread.
Let’s seek the flourishing of life with Jesus our friend, brother and Lord. The Word of God grants us the vision of a just world at peace because gratitude has vanquished anxiety and generosity has overcome greed. As we practice the presence of God we exhibit the fruit of love and mutual respect that binds us together. Are we walking hand in hand with Jesus? Do we spend time alone with God, listening to God’s voice and praying to Him? In His presence alone is our protection and flourishing of life.