If we could have a conversation with Zaccheus, he would remind us that conversion doesn't have to be gloom, doom and a hard slog. In today's Gospel, we see both him and Jesus at play and the changes this can bring.
In his trilogy, John Shea writes the story beautifully.
Another time, when Jesus was on His way from Jericho to Jerusalem,
A dwarf of a tax collector, Zaccheus by name,
whose eyes were as tarnished as two Roman coins,
and whose hands were no bigger than a stolen purse,
climbed a tree to spy Jesus.
But Jesus spied him and said,
Zaccheus, hurry down, I will eat with you tonight.
Now, who is the host and who is the guest
when the one invited in turn invites?
And what can happen at such a meal?
Can more than bread be shared?
Can more than wine be drunk?
The story says that later the same day Zaccheus reached into the centre of his soul and found a rusty key which he used to unlock the strongboxes that held the wealth of his people. Later that day, a taller Zaccheus returned what the smaller one had stolen.