From God's fullness we have all received, grace upon grace
Lectio Divina: “hurry”

Lectio Divina: “hurry”

Gospel reading: Luke 19.1-10

[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 sycomore tree to see him, 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 he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. 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 to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.’


Urgency, exuberance, and a touch of anxiety – Zacchaeus runs ahead of the crowds to try and see Jesus. Jesus has an equal sense of urgency (or perhaps he is teasing a little) in asking Zacchaeus to hurry and come down, and Zacchaeus obligingly hastily responds.

In the parable of the Prodigal Son, Jesus describes the father seeing his son in the distance and runsto meet him. I imagine his sandals slapping, robes flapping, dignity cast to the far winds in the overflowing of love for his son and his eagerness to see and greet him again.

Zacchaeus also casts his dignity to the winds. How often does one see a chief tax collector running through the streets and climbing trees?

What about God? When we return or run to see or meet or find or be with God, God is happy and more than ready – indeed hurries – to meet us. God’s urgency is always equal to, even greater than, our own.

Then Jesus says ‘Today’. In the midst of the urgency and exuberance there is that moment when time stops, when the eternity of heaven intersects the chronology of earth, when salvation comes to Zacchaeus, when transformation or transfiguration occurs.

Can we recognise that moment too? And respond, relinquishing any shred of caring what the world thinks if we don’t conform to dignified norms?


Since April 2020, I have been jointly hosting a shared Lectio Divina group on Tuesday or Wednesday evenings. These are my reflections only, during the prayer session and as I wrote them up. Please see my separate commentary and leaflet for more information about shared Lectio.