Curiosity does not kill Zacchaeus

Fr Antonio Pineda
Assistant Parish Priest

Everyone is curious about Jesus: Christians, people of other faiths and even atheists. But what do we do about that curiosity? Do we ignore it and think to ourselves that we know everything there is to know, or use it to find out more about the man from Nazareth who died on the Cross for us? In this Sunday’s Gospel, we hear about Zacchaeus, a dishonest man everyone avoided, who was curious about Jesus. When he heard that Jesus was in town, Zacchaeus was determined to see him. Because he was a short man, he climbed up a tree to make sure that he would be able to see Jesus from among the crowd.

A crowd was walking with Jesus through the streets of Jericho, but though they were following him and were physically close to him, they did not really know who he was. They thought they did, but if they did know Jesus, they would not have been outraged when Jesus stopped by the tree, looked up and not only spoke to Zacchaeus but also invited himself to Zacchaeus’ house. The crowd would have known that “the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.”

This is good news, but only if we are willing to identify ourselves as “lost”. Are we most comfortable among the crowd surrounding Jesus, shrouded with their false knowledge of Jesus, or are we brave enough to be more like Zacchaeus who, guided by his curiosity, sought to see who Jesus really was? Man is made by God for God, which means there is an inherent curiosity in all of us to know our Maker. Let us allow that curiosity to lead us on our journey to eternal life, a journey we share with our neighbours whom we are called to serve and love. And, like Zacchaeus, let us be resourceful by doing everything we can to ensure that nothing prevents us from seeing and getting to know Jesus.