What is the Zacchaeus Course?
The Zacchaeus Course is a time of personal and spiritual (trans)formation experienced in a group to enable us to develop a genuine ‘‘Christian art of living’’.
It is a programme in which we discover how to achieve unity and coherence in our lives, between our Christian faith and our actions from day to day. The faith is not limited to attending Mass. The Church has developed a realistic and positive thinking about Christian life and involvement in society: the Social Doctrine of the Church.
The Zacchaeus Course is based on the teaching of the Church, sharing in small groups, simple, practical exercises, and times of prayer and praise. It consists of regular meetings among a group of Christians and lasts for 1 year,
Developing our talents in order to be happy
The Social Doctrine of the Church is wisdom for our times – modern, dynamic and realistic. It looks on the life we are living with love and freedom and it enables us to find in this world a place which suits us and our abilities, so that we can develop all our talents and find happiness.
For, whatever our personal situation (married, single, or religious; male or female; a skilled worker, a looking for a job, a company director, a public employee, a research worker, an adventurer, a person with a disability, etc.), we all have a role to play in God’s plan in every aspect of our daily lives.
“Become what you are” – a path to personal fulfilment
The Christian life is an extremely rich life programme the purpose of which is to help us, through fidelity to the Gospel and serving others, to find our path to holiness. For, in fact, it is in this world, in our daily lives, where we live today, that we are called to act as Christians and to be witnesses to the Good News.
By means of times of prayer and praise, practical exercises based on daily life, simple talks and times of sharing in groups, the Course provides the essential guidelines to help us to “grow” in the world as it is, and in all our activities, whether at work, in the family, or connected with the Church, associations or politics.
A simple effective method
The Zacchaeus Course was created by members of the Emmanuel Community in 2006. It can be followed anywhere that it is being offered to all.
The title “Zacchaeus Course” refers to an episode in the life of Jesus in Chapter 19 of St. Luke’s gospel.
Passing through Jericho on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus was acclaimed by a crowd of disciples who were crowding round him. Zacchaeus was a man who collaborated with the Roman occupiers. He helped himself from the taxes he collected and he did not practice his religion. He climbed a tree in order to see Jesus. Jesus caught sight of him, called to him and chose to “come and stay at his house”. This shocked the believers of the time. During Jesus’ visit to his house, Zacchaeus, filled with joy and pride, chose to change his life completely, and to set off on a path of justice and peace. This episode shows us that Jesus comes to find and save all those who are looking for Him, right into their lives, to be in the world and to transform it.