Today’s Gospel: Luke 18:9-14
Today’s Gospel warns of self-righteousness. The Pharisee’s prayer is almost a reverse prayer. Instead of talking to God, he is talking to and about himself. He is busy telling himself and anyone who could hear how great he was. He trusted completely in himself and his “good works.” The tax collector simply says, “O God, be merciful to me a sinner.” He’s praying in the right direction, upwards to God. He understands his place. The Gospel tells us very plainly, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” This shows us how God reverses things. We should all seek to be on God’s end of that equation by guarding ourselves against righteousness and not relying on our own good works. We must learn to depend only on God.
Do I recognize that I am a sinner in need of mercy?
Or do I tally up my good works and others’ flaws?
Do I rely only on God?
God, it is so easy for me to focus on what I do right and what everyone else does wrong. Teach me how to reverse this. Show me how in need of Your mercy I am. Be merciful to me a sinner. Amen.
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Ellen Toole