Today’s Gospel (Luca 19, 1-10) proposes the famous meeting of Zacchaeus with Jesus. This episode is very rich in ideas for reflection and we will have the opportunity to study them soon, God willing. But today we would like to bring to your attention a particular, that is some words that Jesus uses in addressing Zaccheus: << … today I have to stop … >>
Have you ever wondered why Jesus often uses the adverb today? Can we deduce that Jesus had a certain urgency because it was lunchtime, and after many hours of walking he began to feel a certain hunger? Maybe. Or can we deduce that he had an appointment later and therefore had to hurry up with Zacchaeus? Likely. In any case, the Gospel is written like this and we have to start from there. But why is Jesus fixed with today? But can’t he postpone it until later, tomorrow? What a hurry this Jesus!
Yes, exactly so, Jesus is in a hurry. A hurry that is not the frenetic one we know. No, for Jesus it is a holy hurry. It is a hurry to save those who were lost before they are lost forever. How strange, it is God, and as such, it might not give much pain to temporal things, since He is outside human temporal boundaries. But …… this time does not go unnoticed in the eyes of God. Yes, because today is the favorable moment, today you are given another chance, tomorrow you don’t know if it comes for you.
And to us too Jesus addresses the same phrase with our own name. Even today, Jesus wants to stop with us, in our hearts, but also in our home, in our domestic today, in our marriage. Today, because tomorrow, who knows. So let’s not waste a minute today to be able to tell our loved one how much Jesus loves her, but we have to say it and do it with the language that belongs to us: a language made of well ironed shirts and placed in the closet, a flower to our beloved , a slip of paper with words of love slipped under the cup of morning coffee, a welcome to our beloved tonight when he comes home tired from work, etc …
Then Jesus uses the verb “I must”. Why ? Do you have a timetable to follow? Do you have a client who pays you to do it? The doubt that he went to Jericho for Zacchaeus arises. Jesus is indeed a different type from all the others: he invites himself to the people’s home with the verb “I must”. But what drives him to respect this duty? The answer comes from Jesus himself at the end of the passage: << The Son of man in fact came to seek and to save what was lost. >>. And since salvation is urgent, Jesus must. As it happens, it is simply implementing the reality contained in its name. We cannot expect a different Jesus from the Savior. We cannot delude ourselves that Jesus is accommodating in our lives. He must save us, it is his mission. But to do it, he needs us. Even if our marriage is going through a period of tired, dry, of misunderstanding, of coldness, or it seems all over or almost …… we give Jesus an opportunity to fulfill his HAVE TO and make it his own TODAY. Everything seemed lost even to Zacchaeus, and instead salvation, change, conversion came.
Finally, Jesus uses the verb “stop me”. But certainly, Jesus does not like to make a “hit and run”, a “hit and run”. To our mentality now polluted by this world it seems strange that something lasts for so long. By now we also treat Jesus like take away, I take from him what I like, when I like it and then away immediately. A take away faith does not include a permanence of Jesus in the heart. And instead Jesus wants to stop in our heart, in our life, in our home, in our marriage. Give him time, space, head, heart, strength, will, and nothing will be taken away from us, but on the contrary the hundredfold already down here, already today, will be returned to us. So, starting today, let’s take time to pray with our spouse. And when we are far from each other for work, we pray for our spouse.
Courage spouses, that Jesus today must stop in our marriage.
Giorgio and Valentina.