Zaccheus climbed up the sycamore tree a sinner. From the branch where he sat, his eyes met Jesus, and he returned to the ground a saint.
Is this a fairy tale? Not at all. The Good News, first of all, names everyone sinners, but then loudly proclaims we are loved anyway, cherished and forgiven.
Jesus' life among us reminds us that alone we cannot shake the darkness of this world, but with God all things are possible. This is the grand truth of redemption.
We all struggle with our sinfulness. It's
embarrassing at what we are capable of during these moments. However, Jesus is always waiting to lock eyes with us, so we can "return to the ground a saint."
It is true, grace is a wonderful gift that keeps inviting us to start all over again. Francis de Sales notes this positive approach when he wrote:
"Let us serve God well today. God will provide for tomorrow. Each day must shoulder its own care."