The Tax Collector and the Pharisee

The Tax Collector and the Pharisee

It is hard to believe that we are almost at the end of October with the schools in our locality having the midterm break for Halloween next week. It is also hard to believe that next Friday we celebrate the feast of All Saints closely followed by all souls the next day but that as the saying goes is for later. The readings in our Liturgy for this weekend are all about the HUMBLE person of faith that God calls all of us to be in our own time and place. That means that we shouldn’t lose the run of ourselves when dealing with people and the situations that we might find ourselves. What does the Gospel Reading about the tax collector and the Pharisee say to you and I, what do the words of the Pharisee who thinks that he is better than everyone else say. Also and I think more importantly what about the words of the Tax Collector when he said in a simple humble way  God be merciful to me a sinner what do these words  say to you and me? I think that the Tax Collector despised by the people possibly because of the job he does (nobody likes the tax man even now) is saying to us that we need to have the humility to be humble before God who knows that we are sinners even before we say it and we also have to be humble with other people dealing with them with real humility.

To have a person showing real humility is to be true to yourself in word and deed:  humility is the truth and often times we don’t like to hear the truth about ourselves or any situations we might find ourselves in.  The person who is truly humble will always see pride in him or herself as a bad thing.  The person who is humble believes himself to have nothing, when in fact he has God, for him and in him!  The person who knows  himself to be dependent on God humbles himself so much,  putting himself in his proper place before his Creator, that God cannot  leave him in this state:  the Lord lifts him up to his own Glory in order to make him his adopted child.  In a word, he who humbles himself, God justifies! The more someone belittles himself before God, the more the Lord is pleased to come and live in him and to make him shine with his divine light. 

In our modern world, Pride which was very strong in the words the Pharisee spoke dominates the world, and it is this pride which often leads many people the world over down a long lonely path. The old saying rings true that pride comes before a fall and in so many places and situations we might find ourselves or perhaps we have seen other people in. Today, the same as  every  other Sunday, we shall receive within us Jesus in the sacrament of the Eucharist.  We shall approach the altar of the Lord.  This approach testifies at once to our humility and to our grandeur.  It testifies to our humility, for we humble ourselves in believing that what we see as bread is not bread but rather the Body of Christ.  It testifies to our grandeur, for, in communion, we truly become the Body of Christ, adoptive sons in the only Son of God!  May this approach be our justification, for the salvation of the world! I finish with these words from Micah which sum up the gospel reading for this Sunday and what does the Lord require of you? To do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? The Lord requires us in the same way to be just, kind and to walk humbly with our god so let us go forth into the world with true humility in our hearts and minds.




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