Link to today’s readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/030516.cfm
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 everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Who are you in this parable? If you are honest, like I have had to be, you will admit that you have been both at one time or another. Our nature is to be prideful most time. We are so assured of how good we are that we look down on others. But then something happens and we go down on our knees for mercy. Our goal in life is to be like the tax collector and recognize our sinfulness, not like the Pharisee looking down on others.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I am so grateful that you have not cast me aside when I am full of pride! Thank you for taking me to my knees so I can beg for your mercy. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.
It is mercy I desire, and not sacrifice.