: There’s an old Christian legend (the source of which I’ve been unable able to find) that tells how Zacchaeus, every day after his encounter with Jesus, would take a bucket of water and pour it on the base of that famous tree in Jericho. It had now become a sacred sign to him, a place of sacred encounter in that furnace-like desert, and so in deep gratitude he reverenced that sacred location every day thereafter.
Have you ever “gone out on a limb” for someone or something? Or as we used to say in the bush, have you ever “bet the farm” on a particular belief? Zacchaeus did that when he was converted in his first encounter with Jesus. Not only did he believe in Jesus, he now made four-fold restitution because of that belief, and also gave half of his possessions to the poor. He risked everything because of his belief, including his future income stream (which now would undoubtedly decrease considerably). His actions would surely qualify him to be a model for us to follow.
I presume that you are a baptised Christian, a believer. As such, you have been given the precious gift of God’s Presence dwelling right within you! You don’t have to go out and climb a tree; all you have to do is accept the gift; look within, and then “bet the farm” on what you believe. That means you are called to “risk everything” to become His disciple, and to live as he wants you to live, to become more fully the image you were created to be – His image!
Zacchaeus’ response to Jesus could be summed up this way: “I firmly resolve, with the help of your grace, to confess my sins, do penance, and amend my life. Amen!” The Sacrament of Penance is a “place” where Jesus makes his call to conversion available– thus it is called the sacrament of conversion.
My friends, get out of your tree, your stubborn way of life, and “bet the farm” that this is also a sacrament of forgiveness and reconciliation! And so, allow salvation to come to your “house”!