“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” - Leo Tolstoy: (1828 – 1910: was a Russian writer who is regarded as one of the greatest authors of all time.)
Gospel Text: (LK 19:1-10)
At that time, Jesus came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town.
Now a man there named Zacchaeus,
who was a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man,
was seeking to see who Jesus was;
but he could not see him because of the crowd,
for he was short in stature.
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus,
who was about to pass that way.
When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said,
“Zacchaeus, come down quickly,
for today I must stay at your house.”
And he came down quickly and received him with joy.
When they all saw this, they began to grumble, saying,
“He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.”
But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord,
“Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor,
and if I have extorted anything from anyone
I shall repay it four times over.”
And Jesus said to him,
“Today salvation has come to this house
because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.
For the Son of Man has come to seek
and to save what was lost.”
What made him change? Jesus didn’t work any miracle for Zacchaeus, didn’t heal any illness or alleviate any hunger. All Jesus did was spend time with Zacchaeus, and that was enough to turn him around.
In his book, The Five Love Languages, author Gary Chapman identifies the giving of “quality time” to another as one of the five languages of love. That is just what Jesus did. He gave Zacchaeus genuine attention, affirmation and a non-judgmental attitude. He listened to him and enjoyed his company. He didn’t give Zacchaeus food for his body. In fact Zacchaeus fed Jesus. Instead Jesus gave him nourishment for his spirit by a genuine loving attitude.
It was Benjamin Disraeli who said, “The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but to reveal to him his own.” If we take the time and make the effort to be truly present to another, we can watch a gold mine of goodness come pouring forth.