World Mission Sunday
The publican went home at rights with God; the Pharisee did not.
A few weeks ago (22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time) we had a Gospel about humility in social life – today we hear the Lord reiterating the message, but this time in reference to our prayer lives. The two Gospels are linked by the last words today, which also appear in the other story: “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” This phrase is obviously a key part of our Lord’s teaching! The sin of “self-exaltation” consists in putting others in a lower place – as the Pharisee does to the tax collector. Perhaps the most telling phrase in today’s Gospel is where Jesus refers to the Pharisee saying “this prayer to himself, rather than offering it to God! And since the Pharisee wasn’t talking to God, how could he expect to be heard?
I will bless the Lord at all times, his praise always on my lips;
in the Lord my soul shall make its boast. The humble shall hear and be glad.
The Lord turns his face against the wicked to destroy their remembrance from the earth.
The just call and the Lord hears and rescues them in all their distress.
The Lord is close to the broken-hearted; those who spirit is crushed he will save.
The Lord ransoms the souls of his servants. Those who hide in him shall not be condemned.
1st Reading: Eccl. 35:12-14, 16-19
Second Reading: Tim 4:6-8, 16-18
Gospel Reading: Luke 18: 9-14