Reflection 4 

Gospel Reading 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.”

Sharing the Mission

Good works alone don’t justify us - but only humility in the fa ce of our all-holy and merciful God brings exaltation.

It was precisely because the Pharisee despised others that he was not accepted by God, nor his prayer either. It is easy to despise others almost without knowing it. The next time we read this parable, we would do well at the end of it to stan d for a moment at the door of the Temple and ask if we despise anybody. It is only when we have answered this question with a no that we can enter the temple and begin the p rayer of the publican:
“God be merciful to me, a sinner.”

Discussion 

Where in our visitation or Vincentian life, do we notice who we despise or judge? How do we find space to reflect on this?

Prayer

(Leader) For the grace to love those who are despised and rejected,

(Together) Lord, hear our prayer.

(Leader) For the grace to serve those who need our compassion and mercy,

(Together) Lord, hear our prayer.

(Leader) For the grace of humility and honesty,

(Together) Lord, hear our prayer. Amen