"Tell him… that I am sick with love."

(Song of Songs 5.8)

His name was Zaccheus.
Really rich.
Highly respected…
Feared by many because of the power he yielded.
A publican.

But he had a problem.
He was short.
This embarrassed him and vexed him.

God always leaves a 'but' in our life.
An issue that keeps us in our place.
An issue that forces us to seek out.
An issue that makes us go beyond the normality.

Zaccheus' 'but' made him climb a tree.
It obliged him take a risk,
He cut himself off from the crowd.
For just one moment
he did not remain one of the herd,
think like the others
talk like the others
do as others did.
For one moment he was reasoned with his own mind not with the others' mind.

And Jesus saw him…
He looked at him
He loved him
He invited himself for a meal!

Jesus always sees.
And sees more.
He does not only see the outer crust
- be it attractive or repulsive.
He sees also the inside pain.
This is why He does not bother about good manners
and he invites himself for the meal!

And during this inimitable meal with Jesus…
Zaccheus is transformed.
He does not remain the way he was.
His heart opens up.
He even wants to share his riches with others!

Really this is what always happens
when one starts being familiar with Jesus.
One does not remain the way one was before.
A transformation occurs.

At least this is what I experienced.
When my house was thrown open for him
something happened.

My hands which many times were employed for sin,
my tongue with which so often I irritated and criticised others,
my feet which many times led me to misdeeds…
gradually started taking a new direction.

My hands started blessing and helping brothers and sisters.
My tongue started blessing, preaching and consoling.
My feet started walking towards compassion.

Another great miracle of Jesus Christ.
He loved me tremendously
He wanted to get me out of my selfishness
which makes me and others suffer so much.

It is always Him.
He does everything possible in our behalf,
As Melito of Sardis, one of the earliest Bishops of Christianity,
said in his homily on the Pasch:
He who covered death with shame.
He who sent hell in mourning.
He who deprived injustice from its children.
He who like Moses delivered us from slavery to freedom
from darkness to light,
from death to life.
He is the slain lamb who was born of Mary, the fair ewe.
He is the silent lamb.

Beyond doubt
man is happy when he receives
this crucified love.
Come and dine with us more often!

"Seek Yahweh,
all you, the humble of the earth,
who obey his commands.
Seek integrity, seek humility:
You may perhaps find shelter
On the day of the anger of Yahweh
(Zephaniah 2, 3)

(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.