The one who humbles himself will be exalted

by FLL Editorial Team

路加福音 18:9-14

The Publican and the Sinner by Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P. via Flickr

The Publican and the Sinner by Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P. via Flickr





這篇默想由生命恩泉文摘編輯小組撰寫,內容以下列文章為根據: Saturday of week 3 of Lent – Gospel

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.”
Luke 18:9-14

In today's Gospel, we see two distinct ways of praying.

The Pharisee is self-righteous and full of arrogance. He is contemptuous of the tax collector who is also in the temple. His prayer does not really count since it is no more than a hymn to himself. Authentic prayers should always be God-centred.

Jesus said that the tax collector went home justified precisely because of his acknowledgement of his own sinfulness. He puts himself at the mercy of God.

No matter how often we engage in works of mercy, or how long we spend praying, in the face of God, we are and will always be in His debt. Our salvation rests in God's mercy.

This reflection is prepared by the FLL Inspire editorial team as a digest of the following article: Saturday of week 3 of Lent – Gospel