Week Eight, Exercise One: Jesus calls Zacchaeus the Tax Collector (Luke 19:1-10)
This exercise should be experienced between February 5 and February 8.
In week seven, we learned that we can be called to build the Kingdom of God whatever our station in life. As Teilhard reminds us, God is present in all secular activities. Along these lines, in the story about Zacchaeus, Zacchaeus the tax collector is called by Jesus. He responds by promising Jesus that he will give half of his possessions to the poor and he will correct any previous injustice he has committed.
Use your imagination to pray with Luke 19:1-10. What is it about Zacchaeus that attracts Jesus? Zacchaeus was a sinner and the Jewish public considered him to be unclean (it is somewhat understandable that they thought this way because he was collecting taxes for the Roman occupiers and most tax collectors were known to overtax their neighbors and line their pockets with the unjust profits). What did Jesus see in Zacchaeus?
What did Zacchaeus see in Jesus? He must have had strong feelings about Jesus since he was willing to climb a sycamore tree to see him. What is in Zacchaeus' heart? Does it resonate with your heart?
Imagine yourself as Zacchaeus. Is there something in your life that obstructs your relationship with God? What does it mean to you that Jesus would like to spend the afternoon with you at your house? Are you willing to let go of the obstacle that gets in the way of living a more God-centered life? Will letting go of this obstacle improve your working relationships? Your relationship with the poor?
Pray with the passage again. Can you hear Jesus call your name?