According to the dictionary to be “up a tree” means to be “in a troublesome or challenging situation.” Even before he climbed that sycamore, Zacchaeus was up a tree. Because he collaborated with the occupying Romans he was considered a traitor to his country, he was alienated from his neighbors, he was ostracized from society. It took Jesus to get him out of that “troublesome situation” by showing compassion and acceptance. You frequently hear the expression “it is what it is.” We can feel “up a tree,” stuck or trapped because of the way things have developed. The story of Zacchaeus lets us know that no matter “what it is” we are not trapped. Jesus intervenes with divine mercy and makes something new to happen.