It Always Starts With Desire – Holy Apostle Zacchaeus
Holy Apostle Zacchaeus, is the same “short” man who desired to see Christ on the road through Jericho, thus climbing a sycamore tree. After the Ascension of the Lord, St. Zacchaeus accompanied St. Peter on his travels. Tradition says he became the Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, where he died in peace.
In Fr. Alexander Schmemann’s Great Lent: Journey to Pascha, he describes the importance of the initial step in our Lenten journey – that of, “desire for God and His righteousness, for the true life.” Fr. Alexander writes: “Zacchaeus desired the ‘right thing;’ he wanted to see and approach Christ. He [Zacchaeus] is the first symbol of repentance, for repentance begins at the rediscovery of the deep nature of all desire: the desire for God and His righteousness, for the true life. Zaccheaus is ‘short’ -petty, sinful, and limited- yet his desire overcomes all this. It ‘forces’ Christ’s attention; it brings Christ to his home. [Like Zacchaeus] if we desire deeply enough, strongly enough, Christ will respond.”