Gospel – Luke 18:9-14

Jesus addressed this parable
to those who were convinced of their own righteousness
and despised everyone else.
“Two people went up to the temple area to pray;
one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.
The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself,
‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity —
greedy, dishonest, adulterous — or even like this tax collector.
I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’
But the tax collector stood off at a distance
and would not even raise his eyes to heaven
but beat his breast and prayed,
‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’
I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former;
for whoever exalts himself will be humbled,
and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Reflection on the Gospel

Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.

It’s easy to be convinced of my own righteousness sometimes.
I know myself fairly well and I’m fairly pleased with myself.
The other side of the coin is that I begin to decide that others are not quite as righteous as I.
The Pharisee regards himself so well he even speaks the prayer to himself.
The tax collector raises his eyes to heaven and speaks to the One who is the only One who can regard Himself as holy.
When he thus humbles himself before God, God lifts him to Himself and the tax collector can regard himself as having received the mercy of God.
This mercy is available to me if I see my position properly before God.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle – Pray for us.
Live, Jesus, in our hearts – Forever.