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11/4/19 Weekly Reflection

We greet you in the name of our Lord Christ Jesus.

May the light of the Holy Spirit of our Lord, the Lord of love, mercy, and compassion shine upon all of us and may He grant us the knowledge, patience and wisdom to understand the richness of His teachings and missions which are intended to nurture our hearts and our lives.

At the conclusion of my homily a week or so ago, I suggested several questions to ponder.  Here they are.

Jesus make a startling assertion about the respective prayers offered in the Temple by the Pharisee and the tax collector.  Lk 18:9-14

Jesus says that the tax collector, a most despised and reviled member of Jewish society, was the only one of the two who went away justified before God that day.

The tax collector’s self-knowledge and humility brought him into a right relationship with God.  The Pharisee left the Temple still in possession of his own false identity and in a state of self-deceit.

This week, think and pray about the Pharisee and this tax collector.  Here are some questions to consider:

  • Was Jesus’ evaluation of the different prayers of these two men surprising? Why?
  • In what ways do we deceive ourselves and refuse to acknowledge our sinfulness.
  • In what ways do we diminish other in order to boost ourselves in the eyes of the world?
  • Think of those who are held in contempt in our world. In this current political climate, as we approach an important election, there are unfortunately plenty of examples of contempt presented to us in the campaigns.  Do we wrongly contribute to this disruptive and divisive process?
  • In what ways do we deceive ourselves with external acts of piety while paying little attention to our actual internal relationship with God.
  • Ponder this passage from today’s first reading : Sir 35:12-14, 16-18  

“The one who serves God willingly is heard”

“The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds; it does not rest till it reaches its goal

How does this apply to the outcome?


- Deacon Steve Haut


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