Today is the Feast of St. Columba, d. 597, this remarkable saint of Scotland, the founder of Iona…. founder of monasteries and shining light in a time of darkness throughout Europe. I have always loved this strain of Christianity, this wonderfully rich Celtic tradition….
And how interesting that the Gospel for today is the text on Zacchaeus. I can’t read this text without going back to my childhood: “Zacchaeus was a wee little man, and a wee little man was he.” We loved that one as a child…
What hooked me about this text this morning, seeing it alongside St. Columba’s remembrance, is the ability we all have to practice our faith. In Luke 19, the text shows that Zacchaeus had climbed a tree to see Jesus, when Jesus asked him to come down and host him in his own home. And Zacchaeus “hurried down and was happy to welcome him.” Such simple little words, images that carry enormous reflection for us, I think.
This image of Columba doing what he could, using his gifts to help establish Christianity in the region. Even though he was only one person, he offered himself to the service of the Lord.
I’m challenged by this text, because I often have excuses for my practice. I often feel as though I am “short in stature,” as it were…short in stature in some way.. But then there’s Jesus, inviting me to host him in my home. And Jesus does this with each of us, looks past our seeming limitations and invites us into a greater experience of grace and love.