October 27, 2013

The Gospel Today 

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time 

Luke 18:9-14

Jesus addressed this parable
to those who were convinced of their own righteousness
and despised everyone else.
“Two people went up to the temple area to pray;
one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.
The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself,
‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity —
greedy, dishonest, adulterous — or even like this tax collector.
I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’
But the tax collector stood off at a distance
and would not even raise his eyes to heaven
but beat his breast and prayed,
‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’
I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former;
for whoever exalts himself will be humbled,
and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Reflection (Sem. Julius de Gracia):

I AM HOLIER THAN YOU

 “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself be exalted”(Lk. 10:16)

 Sometimes we succumb to the temptation of considering ourselves holier than others; we usually call that “pharisaic holiness” or “shallow holiness”. I will be focusing my reflection with you today with regarding our “prayer life or the HOW of my prayers”.  I hope the chart will help you better see the general picture of what transpired in the gospel today, about the “how” the Pharisee and the tax collector prayed to God is most important.

And this I believe is common to us; we can either identify ourselves with any of the two, about how is my prayer? Why and what do I pray for? Is my focus still Jesus Christ or the blessings that I can receive from Christ? May we continue to encounter Christ in our prayer life and eventually become like that of a tax collector at prayer. He who surrenders and submits his ALL to Jesus. May we learn to pray with total dependence on God, for even our capacity to pray is indeed a gift from Jesus.

Pray with me this day wherever you are and whatever you feel; “Lord Jesus Christ, may everything I do begin with your inspiration and with your saving help all of these brings glory to your Father in Heaven. Teach me to depend and trust only to you dear Jesus, I surrender to you everything for all of these comes from you and will only reach perfection with you and through You. I ask this through the prayers of Mama Mary. Amen.

PRAYER in terms of;

PHARISEE

TAX COLLECTOR

 

Foundation

The start is the “self” – There are five (5) “I’s” in the prayer of the Pharisee. The prayer is rooted in GOD, for it started with the utterance of the word GOD.

 

 

 

Content

The litany of the “self

–     I am not like that sinner

–     I fast twice a week

–     I give tithes

–     I thank you

It seems that the Tax Collector is saying;

–    God accomplishes for me

–    I need God, for I am nothing apart from            Him

–    He alone forgives

 

Focus

The concern is the Created gifts such as;

–     Fasting

–     Tithes

–     avoiding sin

The concern is the Uncreated gift which is;

–     JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF

 

Effect/Result

INDEPENDENCE FROM GOD

–     Self Sufficient

TOTAL DEPENDENCE on GOD manifested fully in Jesus Christ.

 

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