30th Sunday, year ’C’ 30e dimanche, année ’C’

“Two men went up to the temple to pray; one a Pharisee, the other a tax collector.”
Tuesday 13 September 2016

Si.35,12-14.16-18 Ps.33 2 Tm.4,6-8.16-18 Lk.18,9-14

30th Sunday year ’C’

"Jesus spoke the following parable to some people who prided themselves on being upright and despised everyone else.

Two men went up tot he temple to pray, one aPharisee, teh otehr a tax collector. The Pharisee stood tehre and said this prayer to himself, ’I thank you, God, that i am not grasping, unjiust, adulterous like eeryone else, and particularly that i m not like this tax colector here.

I fast twice a week, I pay tithes on all I get.’

The tax collector stood some distance away, not daring even to raise his eyes to heaven ; but he beat his breast and said ’ God, be merciful to me, a sinner."

The Pharisee is so full of himself that he is in need of nothing, there is no place for God and for anything He would like to give him.

His ’me’ might believe that he can save other people, do good in their place. The ay eh thanks God is as though he is saying to him "Thank you, I have all I need.’ He speaks to God to confirm how upright he is , that he does all he needs to do, that he ahs nothing he can change. He justifies himself earning his salvation himself. He thinks he is normal and has no more to do. He has died before going to the tomb, stifled by the fact he is full of himself.

The tax collector finds grace in the eyes of Jesus because he recognises how much a sinner he is, and says to himself : ’something is wrong. Far from other people he prays before God, afraid to be seen by Him, not daring that God looks at him. He knows how much he is in need of him, that he has to move,, and move forward. This word reveals the humility of our life, prayer translates what we are living.

This attitude of the ’poor’ touches God’s heart. The Psalmist expresses himself like this :God doesn’t go against the poor person, he listens to the prayer of the one who is oppressed, he doesn’t despise the orphans begging, nor the widow who keeps on complaining.

“This man, I tell you, went home justified, the other not.”

This Pharisee is glad not to be like the thieves, the unjust, adulterers, he places the tax collector in the bag of sinners, without knowing who they are. He is full of himself, filled with his’I’, looking at others only to judge them, speak badly about them an come back to himself.

He doesn’t need others, and nor does he need God.

He makes of himself his own salvation thanks to his prayer, fasting, his temple offering.

We still find this type of despise nowadays! How many cries there are in our villages and this is our concern. God is waiting that we take care of one another. The poor person out in the cold, at night, the poor widow, the person who is oppressed, the orphan, they all keep on crying out at our door.

Following his Master, the Christian community comes to the help of the poor Our desire is to reamin attentive to humanity that is need of me, this is where I need to represent.

“For everyone who raises himself up will be humbled, but anyone who humbles himself will be raised up.”

We ask for the grace to be able to recognise who is in need. God needs us to take the first step so we can help each other o take the next steps so s to leave again with Him going towards the poor. We who were in low places, can go up to our sisters and brothers and up to heaven. We can believe that we are going towards God and reach him, going towards ourselves and towards otehrs who lead us towards God.

God is with us when we speak to him in prayer : Father, have pity of me, a sinner.

There is so much poverty and misery in the world that we can never get to the end of it. In the wake of Jesus we can offer ourselves up with Him, leaving our heart open to God’s work.

Prayer and action towards the poor are liked together, we give thanks to god for his amrvels. In humility we give thanks to God and we never stop praying.

We ask for the grace to remain in humility before God who is mankind’s friend.