Sunday, October 23
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
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.’ (Luke 18:13)
Both of the men in this gospel are sinners. But only one admits it. Only one tells the truth.
The tax collector has the right idea. He knew he was a sinner and he asked for God’s mercy, knowing God’s mercy is bigger than any sin.
The Pharisee is more interested in comparing himself to the tax collector and others. He evidently feels superior. He may have many gifts but he is taking credit for them rather than thanking God for them. He too is a sinner but does not seem to recognize it.
When we know we are sinners, we stop comparing ourselves to others. We stop judging others. When we trust in God’s love, then we are able to throw ourselves at his feet, asking for His mercy, confident that it will be given to us.
Lord, have mercy on me. I am a sinner. Help me to always be honest with you and with myself. Help me to always be confident in your love and mercy. And may I show that same mercy and compassion to others. Amen.