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Sir 35:12-14, 16-18
Ps 34
2Tim 46-8, 16-18
Lk 18:9-14

Like what you’re reading? Check out the archive of past reflections.

Archive of Past Reflections
Scripture Reflection
by Jes VanHout


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."

This week's gospel is very powerful to me.  I think that as much as I don't want to I can relate so much with the Pharisee.  I have a very deep rooted faith and I think that people see that in me, but often times I am very prideful of myself and not humble toward the God that has given me life. Nothing that I do on this earth could ever compare to what Christ did for me, but often times I am counting my earthly deeds as though they matter in an eternal perspective - they don't.  It is necessary to step back and look to the Lord like the tax collector does in this gospel reading.  I am a sinner. Sin is bad.  Worse than I can imagine because there is so much sin in our world; so much sin that we don't understand the depth of it.  I need to humble myself before my God and know that I am a sinner.  Nothing I do here will add up to the glory I need to give to Christ who died for me.  I am challenging myself to continuously humble myself before the God that made me and saved me.

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