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March 10, 2018

Luke 18:9-14

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’

But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Looking at our hearts

The parable in today’s Gospel has both an inward and an outward dimension.  We are called to examine our own hearts and motivations. Are we doing good works only for others to see?  Are our prayers all public shows designed so that others will think us holy and devout? As with the Pharisee, those actions have their reward only on earth.

With this passage, we are also invited to reflect on our relationships and opinions of others.  How often do we make judgements about a person’s “goodness” based on what we see them do? How frequently do we ascribe motive to an action without thinking about where the other person might be coming from?  

Just as our works and prayers should be offered with the intention of pleasing God and not others, let us not imagine ourselves to be God by judging the hearts of others.

—The Jesuit Prayer team

Prayer

Lord, you spoke through the prophet Hosea saying “for it is love that I desire, not sacrifice, and knowledge of God rather than holocausts.”  Open my heart to receive your love and share it with others. Help me to grow in understanding and knowledge of you. May my words and actions always be motivated by greater love of you.  Amen.

—The Jesuit Prayer team

 

 

 

 


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March 10, 2018

Luke 18:9-14

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’

But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

Looking at our hearts

The parable in today’s Gospel has both an inward and an outward dimension.  We are called to examine our own hearts and motivations. Are we doing good works only for others to see?  Are our prayers all public shows designed so that others will think us holy and devout? As with the Pharisee, those actions have their reward only on earth.

With this passage, we are also invited to reflect on our relationships and opinions of others.  How often do we make judgements about a person’s “goodness” based on what we see them do? How frequently do we ascribe motive to an action without thinking about where the other person might be coming from?  

Just as our works and prayers should be offered with the intention of pleasing God and not others, let us not imagine ourselves to be God by judging the hearts of others.

—The Jesuit Prayer team

Prayer

Lord, you spoke through the prophet Hosea saying “for it is love that I desire, not sacrifice, and knowledge of God rather than holocausts.”  Open my heart to receive your love and share it with others. Help me to grow in understanding and knowledge of you. May my words and actions always be motivated by greater love of you.  Amen.

—The Jesuit Prayer team

 

 

 

 

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Please share the Good Word with your friends!