Jesus looked up [to a branch of a sycamore tree] and saw
Zacchaeus. He said to him, “Hurry down. I want to have supper at
your house tonight.” Zacchaeus was delighted and said, “I give
half of my belongings to the poor.” Jesus then said to him,
“Salvation has come to this house today.” Luke 19:1-10
Hospitality, delightful meals shared with friends, generosity to the poor,
kindness done for anyone who finds that happiness is elusive—all these are evidences of the “Christmas spirit” that has blessed the world long before Dickens wrote his story or “Santa” St. Nicholas gave dowry gifts to needy girls. Zacchaeus put on a fine dinner for Jesus. He was generous to the poor, and he was also a charming host. He delighted Jesus and was delighted in return. Charm
went both ways. He was a man after Jesus’ own heart!
ZACCHAEUS SPEAKS TO YOU
“Blessed shall you be this year—happy with Christ’s blessings—if you think little of yourself and more of Jesus and his love for you. Consider how joyful you are when you are generous to those in need and kind to everyone around you. That’s the way I found Christmas. My love story started not by the crib, but out on a limb of a sycamore tree. We loved the poor and we liked each other’s company. That’s why Jesus and I got along so well.”
Jesus, my Lord, it’s wonderful to read how you enjoyed life in the company of good-hearted people. I want to be one of your friends always. Permit me to join the “Zacchaeus Club.” And grant that the exuberance of Christmas love may be with me every day. Amen.