You Matter to God

At times we may feel like no one is listening, that no one cares about us. We might feel like we do not matter. We feel small and insignificant. How can little old me matter to God. After all, “Before the LORD the whole universe is as a grain from a balance or a drop of morning dew.” Who would ever notice a single drop of dew or single grain?

Each of us is just one person among billions. God is infinite. Still, you matter to God. I matter to God. Each and every person matters to God. God, who “can do all things” cares about us. He has “mercy on all“, not because He has to. He has mercy of us because He chooses to. Why? “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:16-17).

Because God loves us, He chooses to “overlook people’s sins that they may repent.” This does not mean that our sins do not matter. We need to seek God’s forgiveness. God overlooks our sins to give us a chance to repent. He is willing to let us take one step at a time, rebuking us “little by little” to warn us and remind us of our sins so that we may abandon our “wickedness” and believe in the Lord.

You matter to God. I matter to God. Each and everyone of us matters to God.

Jesus had intended to pass through Jericho. He makes an adjustment in his plan for Zacchaeus.

Why? Zacchaeus “was a chief tax collector and a wealthy man.” As a tax collector, he was stereotyped as a sinner for over-taxation. His wealth would have been seen as confirmation of his stealing. The Jews would not associate with him as a sinner. Yet Jesus did!

Why? Because Jesus loved him and could see what was in Zacchaeus’ heart. He could see that Zacchaeus was seeking him.

While Zacchaeus “was seeking to see who Jesus was“, he could not. Why? Because he was “short in stature.” Zacchaeus was not deterred. In order to see Jesus, Zacchaeus was willing to do what someone of his wealthy status would not have done in public. “He ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree.” He was willingly to do what some would have considering embarrassing to see Jesus. What are you willing to do to see Jesus? Are you willing to let others see how much you love Jesus or do you keep it hidden?

Zacchaeus’ efforts do not go unnoticed. Jesus sees them. For Zacchaeus’ efforts, Jesus said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your home.” Zacchaeus received Jesus with joy.

We are all sinners. We are not worthy to receive Jesus on our own. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, “We always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his calling and powerfully bring to fulfillment every good purpose.” We are not worthy to know God on our God. It is God who makes us worthy.

Still, remember our sins do matter. When we confess our sins to God, He reconciles us to him through the sacrifice Jesus offers, willingly giving his life on the Cross so that our sins can be forgiven.

When we ask God for forgiveness, we receive a penance as a sign of our repentance. We must strive to stop sinning and live a good life. When others identify Zacchaeus as a sinner, ‘he said to the Lord, “Behold half of my possessions, Lord, I shall see give to the poor and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.” He is willing to do this out of the love Jesus has shown to him. Zacchaeus is willing to do this out of his own love for God and his neighbor.

Again, Zacchaeus’ efforts do not go unnoticed. For the faith that Zacchaeus shows, Jesus says, “Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.” Jesus is not speaking of biological genealogy. Zacchaeus is a descendant of Abraham as a man of faith. If we live in faith in God, we too are descendants of Abraham.

You may feel lost. Do not despair. “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save what was lost.”

Remember, you matter to God!


Fr. Jeff

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