Saturday, October 22, 2016

30th Sunday of Ordinary Time Year C - 2016

May the Peace of Christ Reign in our Hearts

The Gospel today is not difficult to understand

The storyline is simple
There are two men both in the Synagogue
Both recognize that there is a God
Both realize that God is important in their lives
Both of them have come to pray.
That’s where the similarities end

The Pharisee prays in the front of the synagogue
He likes to be noticed.
He want’s to be heard by God but he also wants to be heard by everyone else.

He is not a bad person
He follows all the rules
He tithes
He lives well  He prays regularly

His downfall is his pride
His pride makes him self righteous
And tragically his pride blinds him to his faults

If you don’t realize your own faults you have no way of ever fixing them.

His love of God is not free he wants something out of it.
He wants to be recognized and praise for his good deeds
And even though he has some grave faults

He is quick to point out the faults of others…
“Like that tax collector over there”

The Tax collector…..
Is not a holy man
He is working for the Roman occupiers
He probably has done his fair share of extortion
He has probably done some pretty horrible things.
He knows he’s a sinner and a big sinner at that
and he knows he has to change.
That’s why he is praying

He is humble and his humility permits him to see his own faults desire to be a better person and that’s why his sin is forgiven.

This parable should give us pause
It should cause us to stop and think.

How often do we allow prideful thoughts to harden our hearts?
How aware are we of our own faults and failings?
How often we we concentrate on the faults of others rather than our own?

We should never be quick to condemn.
We should always always always remember that people are better than their worst moments and we are better than our worst moments

We should be quick to welcome both  sinners and saints.
We should concentrate on our own faults rather than the sins of others.

The Pharisee was a prideful soul indeed
The practice of his faith was hollow and fake
Tragically his prayers were not answered

The tax collector’s prayers were answered because he was humble and sorry for what he had done.
His example challenges us to be repentant and humble