When He that bowed the Heavens came to save sinners, Zacchaeus, great in zeal, but little of stature, beheld the Tree of Life from in the sycamore; lifted above the earth, he saw Jesus, Who called him: coming down in lowliness, he repenting, received Him; and so salvation came into his house, and he was shown forth a true son of Abraham. – Kontakion of Zacchaeus
Today the Church honors the memory of Zacchaeus, the tax collector who was transformed by his encounter with the Christ. It is also held according to tradition that he became the Bishop of Caesarea. He was short of stature and could not see over the crowd who hid Jesus from him. He also could not see Christ because of his own position and wealth that blocked the eyes of his spirit. It was only when the tree lifted him up, that he could begin to see. From the sycamore tree he beheld the Tree of Life himself. He saw and came down in humility and received Christ with repentance into his house. In so doing he cast away that which had bound him. He cast off not only from the wealth he had swindled from other. He repaid four times what he had taken and still gave half of all he had to the poor. He rejected all that he had been before, did not return again to his old life, and thus was made free.
If we too wish to be free, we each must find our own sycamore tree to lift us over the crowd of our life that prevents us from encountering Christ.