Reading I: Sirach 35:12-18
Response: Psalm 34
Reading II: 2 Timothy 4: 6-8, 16-18
Gospel: Luke 18: 9-14
In today’s Gospel we are reminded of the correct attitude when we pray. Jesus tells the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican to teach us.
As one views that picture above, one can note the attitude of the Pharisee by his posture, as well as his words. He stands looking toward heaven as he reminds God of all his virtues. His prayer is one of boasting rather than of humble truth. He doesn’t recognize his own sinfulness. Also, he sees himself as superior to others.
On the other hand, we have the publican in a posture of humble acknowledgement of his human weaknesses. He pleads, “Have mercy on me, a sinner.” In the first reading from Sirach, we hear: “The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds.”
Jesus emphasizes the fact that the publican’s prayer will be heard by the Father. The Pharisee’s “so called” prayer was simply a litany of praise to himself.
Often we recognize faults in others, but fail to recognize our own shortcomings. Sometimes, the things that bother us in another are qualities we have ourselves. Let us extend mercy to our brothers and sisters as the Lord lavishes his mercy on us.