Monday, November 4, 2013

What's your sycamore tree?

Yesterday 7AM mass at St. Mary Magadelene in Abbeville was a very special one... not only did I wake up before 7AM and go to mass alone, I also heard the Gospel in a new and exciting way.

The Gospel is from Luke 19:1-10 (read here). While listening I honestly didn't think much of it. So my summary from just listening to the Gospel is (i'm paraphrasing) "Zacchaeus is a short man who climbed a tree to see Jesus and then Jesus saw him and said something along the lines of: 'get down you sinner so I can come stay at your house' then he came down from the tree and he was really pumped up" The End.

Thennn came the Homily to blow my mind.

The Priest explained how Zacchaeus was a sinner, but he really wanted to see Jesus in the flesh..but Zacchaeus was short and old and couldn't see over the crowd so he climbed a sycamore tree. He was willing to do whatever it took to see Jesus. I think tree climbing is a pretty difficult task, so much so that I have never done it and I have no desire to do so, but this tiny old man was so persistent and excited to see Jesus in the flesh that he climbed a tree!
After hearing this I: 1. felt like a baby for being afraid of climbing and 2. wondered if I would climb a tree to see Jesus in the flesh
But really...

The Priest then struck my heart chord by asking the question: "What things are you willing to do that is out of the ordinary to discover God?" What is my sycamore tree? hmmm... what is my sycamore tree? What am I willing to do that is radical and that requires sacrifice?

Jesus is literally speaking to us saying, "You, oh sinner, I want to dine in your house. Will you invite me in?"
and with that invitation to let Jesus in, there is an overflowing joy...just as little old Zacchaeus hopped out of that tree with such haste to be with Jesus.

Grace does not come without sacrifice. Order and peace does not come without sacrifice. Jesus wants to help us change and to make the radical sacrifices to encounter Him in a more profound and intimate way.

What will you do that requires sacrifice for the greater good of your soul and the souls of many?
How will you be radical or out of the ordinary?
To what extreme will you go to see JESUS in the flesh?

What is your sycamore tree?

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