Metropolitan Athanasius Fahd from Syria talks about Zacchaeus, inviting us to follow his example, to come down from our thoughts and let Jesus into the meeting place in our soul, as we begin our preparations for the Great Lent. [Sunday of Zacchaeus]
English translation by Waad Rabahie
Video source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Lattakia and Dependencies, January 26th, 2020
The Gospel of Zacchaeus which we heard today, the short man who wanted to see our Lord Jesus, who was rich and notable…
The voice of the Lord attracts us, the voice of Christ that called Zacchaeus, calling him by his name… ‘Zacchaeus’, saying, “Come down, I must stay at your house today.”
The Lord is calling each one of us, each one of us, saying: “Come down… I must enter your heart! I must stay at your house.”
HE said, “hurry and come down”
“hurry… hurry… I must enter your heart!”
Days are passing by, we don’t know when we will die. I don’t know when my life will end and I would be at a great loss if my life ended without Christ being in my heart, in my house.
The voice of the Lord is saying to us, “hurry, do not neglect, do not delay, come down from your thoughts and your stories, come down from your attitudes and behaviors, come down from your pride, bow and bend a little.”
HE says, “I want to enter your heart… do not stop me.” So, beloved ones, this voice is for all of us – to come down from our glory, pride and problems, the mountain of problems that never end in this life.
The gospel says that Zacchaeus was short, he needed a sycamore tree to climb on and see the Lord.
And this means that each one of us is short and unable to see Jesus because of my sins, ego, weakness and pride.
Many things prevent me from seeing the Lord.
We need the wood of the Cross, the wood of a tree, meaning to sacrifice myself, to be merciful and to reach out my hands to others.
This is how I can see the Lord.
The Lord sees me wherever I am, whether I’m down or up, whether I’m among the crowds or wherever. The Lord sees everyone, but it’s us that don’t see HIM.
So we need someone to lift us up and we also need to come down, come down in our mind, and from our hardness, so that we can see the Lord and hear His voice.
Our Lord is calling us saying, “Hurry… come down, I must stay at your house, I must make a home in your heart, I must enter your mind, enter inside you.” This is the calling of today’s Gospel, let’s reflect on it, because the glory of the Lord is shining upon everyone, except the prideful ones, those who don’t want.
And we must not be from them. The voice of the gospel is telling us that Lord Jesus is for everyone, don’t let the busyness of life prevent us from seeing HIM.
Don’t let the problems of life prevent us from seeing HIM.
Don’t let our sins, weakness and short sight prevent us from seeing HIM.
The face of the Lord is what gives comfort and salvation.
Glory be to the Lord… Amen!