The fruit of humility is when one’s heart possesses the ability to share one’s possessions with the poor without thinking about returns, coming from a deeper understanding of God’s love in its purest form.
This Sunday’s Gospel (Lk. 19: 1-10) tells of a man named Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector and also a wealthy man, who was seeking to see who Jesus was; but could not see him because of the crowd for he was short in stature. Despite physical limitation, Zacchaeus humbled himself by climbing a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house.” And he came down quickly and received Jesus at his home with joy. Despite what he heard from others who grumbled about Jesus staying “at the house of a sinner”, it didn’t deter him from remaining firm and proclaimed to the Lord that he shall give to the poor “half of his possessions” and promised that if he has extorted anything from anyone he “shall repay it four times over.”
One of the difficulties in becoming a disciple of Christ is in sharing one’s wealth with others. It often becomes a “thorn in the neck”, and obstacle that hinders one from embracing Jesus fully.
Our Lord knew it so well such that Jesus’ reaction to him was expressed in a delightful manner,
salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of
For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.”
The Lord was so pleased with Zacchaeus’ action such that the ultimate reward of salvation was pronounced on him and his household. When one gives up one’s self in the form of giving up material wealth for others, one is exercising the virtue of charity and selflessness. In the case of Zacchaeus, his faith in Jesus was such that he embraced what the Lord was teaching throughout the days of His ministry, by obedience to the teaching of sharing one’s wealth with the least in Jewish society. It should be the of gaining the values of honesty, cautiousness, faith, gratitude, perseverance and humility. Arguably, sharing one’s wealth with the poor can make turn one’s obedience in the opposite way.
Today let us pray for wisdom and be warned of the danger of riches and how it can destroy our souls. May we be mindful of St. Paul’s exhortation in the Second Reading (2 Thes. 1:11 – 2:2), that we may be,
“worthy of His calling and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose and every effort of faith, that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, in accord with the grace of our God and Lord Jesus Christ.”
Sharing what we have with others will hopefully make us worthy of being called God’s sons and daughters.
“I will praise your name for ever, my king and my God.” (Ps. 145: 1)