Today we have the story of Zacchaeus the tax collector. He is described as a small man who has to climb a tree to see Jesus. And then we have the story of his great act of repentance.
Perhaps the tree Zacchaeus climbed is the tree of knowledge. Many of us gather up facts and knowledge about Jesus and God and we are unable or unwilling to let go of the hurt and pain or to face the lives we have led in the past.
We want to "know" God but in a factual way, not in a manner that calls for real life changing attitudes. And then when we meet Jesus in prayer or in our neighbour. We run back to the facts about Jesus because in these we can hide from the things in our lives that seperate us form him.
There are many ways to avoid Jesus, just as there are many ways to meet him. Zacchaeus, when he finally met Jesus, threw all the past behind him and started anew.
I often wonder in my own life when that moment shall be for me......perhaps I have to wait for my deathbed!