Zacchaeus, A Chief Tax Collector | iPray with the Gospel
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. And there was a man named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector, and rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not, on account of the crowd, because he was small of stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down; for I must stay at your house today.”
The man just wanted to see that Rabbi whom everyone was talking about. He wasn’t planning to invite Jesus to his home. ‘A good Rabbi’, he probably thought, ‘wouldn’t accept a dinner invitation from a publican’. He wasn’t thinking about his conversion, but Jesus was. And so, taking advantage of Zacchaeus’ curiosity, Jesus invited himself to stay at the publican’s house.
There is a desire to know the Truth inscribed on the human heart. The philosopher Peter Kreeft went to Calvin College, Michigan, to study his protestant faith. There he took a course in Church History from a Calvinist preacher. During the course he asked his teacher if he could study the Church of the early centuries to prove that Jesus had founded a Protestant Church and not ‘the Catholic Church’. But after his research into Church History he had to admit that the opposite was true – and he converted to Catholicism. Bl John Henry Newman once said, “To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant”, for that was also the process of his personal conversion.
Jeremy Brandt, a young Catholic convert from Texas, tells a similar story. “Curiosity made me a Catholic”, he wrote. He had to prepare an assignment on the Reformation. He started reading the Council of Trent and was confused to see that he agreed with it. He had never met a Catholic so he went online in search of answers: Wikipedia, Catholic Answers, Catholic blogs, Protestant refutations… “I think”, he said, “I must have read hundreds if not thousands of articles about Catholicism online.” He became a Catholic shortly after. We should have that same enthusiasm to know Jesus Christ more and better, through the reading of Scripture and the study of our Faith.
Holy Mary, Star of the Sea, guide me to your Son.
Rev. George Boronat M.D. S.T.D is a Catholic priest from the Prelature of Opus Dei, working in the Archdiocese of Southwark in London. He is the Chaplain of The Cedars Independent School in Croydon, and also works as Chaplain of Kelston Club & Study Centre (Balham) and Oakwood Independent School (Purley). He has developed his pastoral ministry mainly with young people and is the author of iPray with the Gospel: Resources to Help Young People Pray (www.ipraywiththegospel.org).