My new book “Bible People for Young People” (“reviewed” at the end of
this post) shows Zacchaeus on the cover. I thought I’d draw some lessons
today from this man’s story. If you recall, Zacchaeus, who collected
taxes for Rome and pocketed some for himself, was possibly the most
despised man in Jericho. Perhaps as a child you sang “Zacchaeus Was a
Wee Little Man.” If so, you know that he was height-challenged. Lesson
one: When Zacchaeus couldn’t see over the heads of the crowd to catch a
glimpse of Jesus, he climbed a tree. If you lack something, deal with
it. Compensate. If you can’t do math in your head, resort to a
calculator. If you can’t drive a car, become an expert in bus routes. If
you weren’t gifted with good looks, be the best dresser in your family.
If you can’t hit home runs, be a cheerleader. And so on. Click to continue
Christians are now dealing with a new obstacle to evangelism; we can no longer assume people know stories in the Bible or the basic tenets of the faith. Perhaps this dearth of spirituality in modern culture will serve to drive desperate people to the feet of Christ but more than ever seekers need basic catechism to lead them back into the arms of God and the Church.
A few decades ago, almost everyone knew the bible, even if they did not attend church because even public schools read the bible and prayed before classes started. I am a convert. As a Protestant kid who went to Sunday School from 3 years old, I grew up on the stories of Jesus, singing songs about His love and memorizing bible verses. I realize now that I was a prayerful kid; God was close to me. continue
When I learned who currently held the authority my Lord gave Simon Peter, recorded in Matthew 16:13-19, I didn't have much choice: I had to join the Catholic Church.
In a sense, I 'knew too much.'
I could either claim to follow Jesus and acknowledge the Son of God's authority, passed along in unbroken succession through the rise and fall of kingdoms, empires, and civilizations — or not. As Simon Peter said, it's a simple choice....