Sunday Micro Retreat – October 30, 2022
As you begin your time of reflection, try to realize that you are standing on holy ground and in the presence of God who wants to talk to you and listen to you.
Make the Sign of the Cross. The Holy Spirit is opening your heart and mind so the Word of God that you are about to read can flourish in you for God's glory. Pray that you continue to work with his grace. Let the words or your prayer flow from your mind through your heart. Try to "feel" what you are saying.
Is there anything you would like to ask God now? What graces does your heart desire? Talk to God about it.
Today, we ask for the grace of conversion.
Now read the Sunday's Gospel:
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through it. A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was,
but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature.
So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see Jesus, because he was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him,
“Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.”
So Zacchaeus hurried down and was happy to welcome Jesus. All who saw it began to grumble and said, “He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.”
Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will
pay back four times as much.”
Then Jesus said of him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because Zacchaeus too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save
the lost.” (Luke 19:1-10)
The Word of God touches everyone differently. If there is anything that really stood out for you in this reading, meditate on it. Go to the depths of your heart and listen to what God is trying to say to you.
Next, let's spend some time with a couple of points that you may consider during this Sunday's Retreat:
1. he was short in stature
The fact that this man was "short" goes beyond the physical description of a person. Under the description "short", there is a hidden message, which tells us that
we are dealing with someone who has possible self-doubt and is losing his humanity (mostly because of the job/lifestyle he is leading). Someone who does not have a great opinion among those who know him. In general,
tax collectors were despised and treated as traitors as they worked for Romans.
So, for some reason, this person, who is experiencing lots of rejection by society and is also aware of his wrongdoings, wants to see Jesus. Maybe deep down in his heart, he desires to change
, but he does not know how to do it. In any case, something motivates him to climb the tree. Something in him wants a change.
Now think about your own approach to change. How do you react when you are asked to do something that goes beyond your comfort level? And on the other hand, how far can you go out of your comfort
level to meet with Jesus? Is there a burning desire in your heart to "grow"? Or are you comfortable with your "height" and feel like everything is fine? Or maybe, like Zacchaeus, you feel very "short"?
Maybe you feel like nobody accepts you? Maybe you feel rejected by your friends? or by your family? And if you are, what are the reasons behind this rejection? Spend some time naming feelings and thoughts
that come to you in relation to this passage.
2. Zacchaeus, hurry and come down
Notice how Jesus is asking Zacchaeus to come down from the tree. He wants to have a conversation with this man when his feet are on the ground.
It may not be obvious to us immediately, but we often think that God is somewhere "up there" in the sky. This is where we tend to "look for him." But today, Jesus is showing us
that he is not "up there, in the clouds"; he is walking with us, here on the ground.
Take this simple image and apply it to your own spiritual life: where are you in your relationship with Jesus? Is he walking right beside you? Or, do you think that you have to do something extra
in order to be noticed? Are you trying to meet him “up there”, meaning in some special places? Or, do you recognize that you don’t need to go far away to be touched by Jesus’s love?
As in point #1, name your feelings that come to you as you think about the answers. Let your feelings “show you” what is happening in your heart.
You may end this retreat by listening to this song: The Zaccheaus Song
It is good to keep a personal journal in which reflections that stood out for you are recorded. The outcome of those Sunday Micro Retreats is good material that you can talk about in your spiritual direction.