Through Zacchaeus’s Eyes

During this Gospel reflection, let me enter into this beloved Gospel scene. Let me see Christ through Zacchaeus’s eyes, and let me see myself through Christ’s eyes. O Holy Spirit, flood my heart, and make me keenly aware of Your Presence.

Pause and reread the account in Luke 19: 1-10. Actively visualize this event. Place yourself in this scene. Then, having witnessed it first hand, talk to Zacchaeus. Talk to the apostles. Talk to Christ.

The Grace of a Restless Heart


How did you hear about Jesus?

You were a tax collector, just like Matthew. Had you heard about this remarkable thing that Matthew did – that he, an affluent tax collector like yourself, had suddenly given up all those benefits and perks to follow Jesus?

Did that puzzle you?

Maybe you sensed a restlessness within your own soul, and you began to desire something different, something new.

Did you wrestle with so many questions: Who is this Jesus? What was it about Him that would make Matthew give up everything? Is it possible that Jesus would accept you too?

At some point, these questions, with no apparent answers, must have welled up within you until you realized you only had one choice – to go and see Him for yourself!

Going to See Jesus


What a stroke of luck, or was it grace – when you heard Jesus was passing by!

Did you drop everything and run?

Did you arrive at the scene and quickly become discouraged by the vast crowd?

Would you miss this once-in-a-lifetime chance?

Then you saw the sycamore tree ahead, and you knew a solution was in sight!

Was it hard to climb in your fine clothes?

Did you make it just in time, settling onto a sturdy branch?

Now, Jesus was approaching. “Good,” you may have thought, “I will at least catch a glimpse of him!”

Being Seen by Jesus

Then, suddenly, Jesus stops just beneath you.

What luck!

And he looks up – straight into your eyes.

Did your heart skip a beat?

What was Jesus’s face like when you heard him call your name and request to stay at your home?

Were his eyes dancing, delighted that you were up there?

Was he both smiling and sincere?

Talking to the Apostles

Oh Apostles,

Were you shocked by what Jesus just did? Perhaps even nervous?

What was Jesus doing?

This was not the way to win followers – making conversation with a tax collector!

Would you be expected to “stay” at Zacchaeus’s house too? What would others think?

Remembering the Sycamore


your heart must have flooded with emotion.

Yes, you too, are beloved.

You, too, are called.

Oh your joy!

That gratitude transformed you.

Now all hesitation was washed away.

You desired Jesus.

He desired you!

Nothing could stop the exchange of love.

Months or years later, did you pass by that sycamore and remember?

Did you ever climb it again, leaning back on its branches, lost in silent recollection?

Zacchaeus, remember that first moment that Christ stole your heart.

Talking to Jesus

O Jesus, what are some of the moments when you have stolen my heart?

Let me take a few minutes to remember.

Let me realize, deep within my heart, that just like Zacchaeus, I too am beloved. I too am worthy to be noticed. You desire me, and I desire You. May my gratitude increase with each passing day and set my heart ablaze with love for You.

[Readings: 2 Mc 6:18-31; Lk 19:1-10]

Celina Manville

I have been in education for 20+ years, mostly working in Catholic schools serving children with special needs. Ed and I have been married over 26 years and have 3 (now) adult children - Eddie, Tony, & Kateri. Since my mom was from Brazil, and I speak fluent Portuguese, I can understand Spanish fairly well. Currently, we live in Wake Forest, North Carolina, and are parishioners at St. Luke, the Evangelist Catholic Church in Raleigh. I am most grateful to my parents for grounding me in the faith, to the Franciscan University of Steubenville for its amazing formation and education, and to Christ and His Blessed Mother for being at my side.

1 Comment

  1. Jeanette Tullis on November 16, 2021 at 10:47 am

    Beautiful story! I feel loved and cared for by Jesus Christ, our Redeemer.

Leave a Comment


Recent Posts