There are two very stellar examples of faith and integrity we have today whose names are also very telling: John, from the Hebrew meaning “God is gracious,” and Zacchaeus, which means “pure.” “I, John, heard the Lord saying to me: ‘To the angel of the Church in Sardis, write this:'” Zacchaeus so wanted to see Jesus that he climbed a tree to catch a glimpse and so much more. Let’s take a look at the invitation from Christ and the tree-climber’s response: The Invitation of Jesus: “Zacchaeus (calls by name), come down quickly (there is urgency), for today (now in the present moment) I must stay at your house (upfront and personal).“ The Response of Zacchaeus: “And he came down quickly and received him with joy (fruit of the decision brings deep happiness). “When they saw this, they began to grumble, saying,’ He has gone to stay at the house of a sinner.’ (there is always opposition) “But Zacchaeus stood there (he faces the opposition in front of and with Jesus) 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.'” (Action follows commitment)
Both men stood their ground with the Lord in their midst. Both men believed that their only long-term (eternal) happiness would depend on one simple decision to follow God. One was at the end of a long life of integrity, and the other was beginning it. Jesus went home with Zacchaeus while John went home to God. Definitely, a happy ending, wouldn’t you agree?
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Mahatma Gandhi