Saturday of week 3 of Lent – Gospel


Commentary on Luke 18:9-14
The readings are about our attitudes in relating to God in prayer.
In today’s Gospel we see two ways of praying. One is arrogant, proud and contemptuous of others. As the Pharisee “prays”, God is somehow meant to feel grateful that there are at least a few people as observant of the rules as he is in comparison with the sinful and despicable outsider symbolised by the tax collector behind him.
“I am not grasping, unjust, adulterous like the rest of mankind, and particularly I am not like this tax collector.” On the contrary, he fasts twice a week, pays tithes on all he earns – he goes well beyond what the law demands.
Yet his “prayer” is not accepted. It is not really a prayer at all but a hymn to himself. As Catholics, or as regular churchgoers, we can sometimes feel superior to those who have dropped out, to those who have no religion, those who lead what we regard as “immoral” lives.
The tax collector is certainly a sinner; that is not denied. But he knows and acknowledges his sinfulness. He is deeply repentant and he puts himself totally at the mercy of God. “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.” God accepts the prayer of the second one because he acknowledges God as his Lord and Saviour. Nor does he compare himself with anyone else. He does not judge anyone else; only himself.
Our prayer must always be an expression of our total dependence on God. There is nothing that we can give him which he has not given us first. All we can do is to make an effort to return a fraction of the love that he showers constantly on us. We are and always will be in his debt.

Comments Off on Saturday of week 3 of Lent – Gospel


Printed from LivingSpace - part of Sacred Space
Copyright © 2017 Sacred Space :: www.sacredspace.ie :: All rights reserved.