In today’s Gospel we hear Jesus tell us that those who exalt themselves will be humbled and that those who humble themselves will be exalted. Our presence at Mass testifies that we are humbled before God. Acknowledging that ultimately we are dependent on God for all that we have and all that we achieve. We thank God for all the blessings we have received.
The Pharisee and the tax collector in our reading are sinners, as are all of us. But only one presents himself before God honestly. The Pharisee in his prayer spoke about himself, brags about himself, trumpets his fasting, and almsgiving without addressing his self-pride and his scorn for others. Ironically, he is probably right about the dishonest tax collector. But before God, the tax collector is brutally honest and repentant. The Pharisee, acting as though he is good as is and needs nothing from God, gets nothing. The tax collector admits his need for God’s mercy and is heard.
The Lord hears the cry of the poor, but it is not only those in material need whose cries are heard. The tax collector was probably well off, as he was likely earning income from both the government and from the people he cheated. However, he was poor in spirit, in need of God’s great mercy. Jesus for our sake also became poor, but in another sense. God chose to become poor to share in our humanity, to suffer with us, to accompany us as we carry our own crosses. God hears all these cries, because all of them came to God in humility, aware of their dependence on God. Acknowledging our own poverty and sinfulness, we come before the Lord in all humility seeking his mercy and forgiveness. “O God, be merciful to me a sinner.”
Love, Peace, Joy,
We are happy to announce that Bruce Varick has answered the call to become our new Parish Trustee Secretary. He had been our Pastoral Council Chairperson and we are grateful that he has taken on this new position. We are also grateful to Ellen Schuh for her many years in that position.
We are still in need of a few Pastoral Council members. It involves a commitment of about ten meetings a year. We are short about three members, so please consider serving our parish in this capacity.