Do you know what personal characteristics will contribute to a happier experience of daily life? Affability is one for certain! An affable person is not only easy to approach, and easy to talk to— but is also a friendly person that even strangers feel comfortable conversing with.
To grow in the virtue of affability, let us meditate on the interaction between Jesus and Zacchaeus as told to us in the Gospel of Luke:
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
— Luke 19:1-10
Jesus exemplified the virtue of affability when He gave Zacchaeus the same opportunity for friendship as He would to anyone else, regardless of his reputation as a tax collector. Zacchaeus immediately welcomed Jesus into his home and at that very moment, he changed his way of life. Sometimes, all it takes to open another’s heart to Christ is by being approachable, friendly, kind–in other words, being affable. How will you practice affability this week?
One virtue that strengthens the virtue of affability is courtesy. Stay tuned next week for a heartwarming story of courtesy that will encourage you to view those around you with His merciful gaze.