Saturday, October 26, 2013
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C
October 27, 2013
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C
Sir 35:12-14,16-18 / Ps 34: 2-3. 17-18. 19. 23 / 2 Tim 4:6-8,16-18 / Lk 18:9-14
The Lord is judge and shows no partiality. He will not disadvantage the poor, he who hears the prayer of the oppressed. He does not disdain the plea of the orphan, nor the complaint of the widow. The one who serves God whole heartedly will be heard; his petition will reach the clouds. The prayer of the humble person pierces the clouds, and he is not consoled until he has been heard. His prayer will not cease until the Most High has looked down, until justice has been done in favor of the righteous.
2 Timothy 4:6-8,16-18
As for me, I am already poured out as a libation, and the moment of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness with which the Lord, the just judge, will reward me on that day; and not only me, but all those who have longed for his glorious coming. At my first hearing in court no one supported me; all deserted me. May the Lord not hold it against them. But the Lord was at my side, giving me strength to proclaim the Word fully, and let all the pagans hear it. So I was rescued from the lion's mouth. The Lord will save me from all evil, bringing me to his heavenly kingdom. Glory to him for ever and ever. Amen!
Jesus told another parable to some people, fully convinced of their own righteousness, who looked down on others: "Two men went up to the Temple to pray; one was a Pharisee, and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself, and said, 'I thank you, God, that I am not like other people, grasping, crooked, adulterous, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and give the tenth of all my income to the Temple.' In the meantime the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'O God, be merciful to me, a sinner.' I tell you, when this man went back to his house, he had been set right with God, but not the other. For whoever makes himself out to be great will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be raised up."
Jesus was a good story teller, and our gospels have recorded many of his stories. And many of his stories are parables, stories Jesus used to give messages to enable us to live our lives as women and men who can be true followers of Jesus. Today's parable is one of the many recorded in the gospel according to Luke. Luke has handed on to us the Parable of the Good Samaritan, the parable of the man who was "forced" to get out of bed in order to help a needy neighbor, the Parable of the Prodigal Son, the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, the Parable of the Servants and the Sums of Money.
Today's parable story was addressed by Jesus to people who were very proud of their own "holiness" – the self-righteous who looked down on others who seemed to be less "holy" than they and who were even considered sinners. The message of this story by Jesus is built around the way people prayed, recognizing that prayer can be a sign of a holy life.
There are two fictitious persons in the story, both of them at prayer in the temple. One belonged to the class of people who were considered to be "experts" in living holy lives according to the common understanding of the day. This was the Pharisee, and indeed we can see that he could list many good things that he did and many bad things that he didn't do. He fasted frequently, was generous in giving donations to the temple, and was not an adulterous man. Oh, how good he was! It seems that in his prayer he could give thanks to God for his being so good!
But – and this is the big BUT – he was so filled with his self-righteousness that he judged the tax collector to be so un-holy. It might well be that the tax collector was indeed a man of many faults and even sins. In the story Jesus intentionally paints the two men as total opposites. While the Pharisee boastfully thanks God for what he considers his virtues, the tax collector "hides" himself, not daring to look up, and simply begs for mercy because he knows that he is not perfect. But the story goes on to say that of the two, the one who went home from the temple was not the self-righteous Pharisee but the mercy-seeking tax collector.
As in all of the parable of Jesus, there is a message for all of us. Here, it is that those who exalt themselves will be humbled in the sight of the Lord while those who humble themselves, admitting their weaknesses and even their sins, will be exalted in the sight of the Lord. The gospel says that Jesus spoke this parable to the self-righteous people of his time. Is Jesus today giving us the same story because some of us might be like the self-righteous who look down on others? Is Jesus saying something to us today about how we judge one another?
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
… for the speedy recovery and healing of
Brenda D. Solis and Sister Carmencita
… for the personal intentions of Paidamoyo
… for the eternal repose of the souls of
- Sim Pak Luisa Alianan
- Rex Owen
- Cynthia Ordona
Eternal rest grant unto them and may perpetual light shine upon them. May they and all the dearly departed rest in peace.
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
… for families who are in need of healing
… for world peace and reconciliation.
Have a good day!
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