30th Sunday in ordinary time
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint 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 everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted."
Our prayer is most powerful when we admit that we need God’s help. This humility opens our hearts to the action of the Holy Spirit and allows his love to heal and transform us.
Where Do We Fit?
Today’s parable is very familiar to us, but usually we consider ourselves as observers. We should instead ask where we would fit in the story. Do we sometimes tend to be very satisfied with our virtue? Or forget how much we depend upon others for our successes? How long has it been since we were truly sorry for our sins? How often do we take stock and realize how much sin interferes with our desire to live as disciples of Christ?
The purpose of such questions is not to build up guilty feelings but to cause change. Why does the Lord love a ‘humble and contrite heart’? Because such a heart is open to his love. In opening our hearts to God, self-awareness brings freedom.
World Mission Sunday
Today we recall the fundamental mission of all Christians: to proclaim Christ to all the world. Few of us have the opportunity or ability to do this directly, but our support is as important as the work of the missionaries themselves. Money is a very practical and real form of assistance, but alone it is not enough. We are to add the power of our prayer to their efforts and live in such a way that we may be a source of inspiration and holiness to others. With this kind of help, missionaries really are able to bring Good News to those they serve.
If we cannot actually go to the missions, we can answer Jesus’ call by giving generously of our prayers and financial resources to support those who can and do.
May Christ lead us to know and share his love more and more powerfully each day.
The family: home of love, mercy and joy.
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace…”