This weekend we celebrate the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time. In the gospel reading below, we read of the Pharisee and the tax collector. The Pharisee praises himself for being better than all the other people, but the tax collector humbles himself and asks God to be merciful to him, a sinner. This reading gives us hope, for we are all sinners. Just as the tax collector “went home justified,” we also can do the same if we humbly seek God’s mercy and remain faithful in prayer and gospel living.
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."