Lord, increase my faith, hope and charity
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time (C) : 23rd October 2022
Sir. 35:15b-17,20-22a(Greek (JB) 12-14,16-18;)
Ps. 33:2-3,17-18,19 and 23; 2 Tim. 4:6-9,16-18;
Lk. 18:9-14 (Ps Wk II)
Sirach urges us to give generously and from the heart. God always hears the cry of the poor and takes the side of the weak, vulnerable, and oppressed. It is a lesson that modern societies and economic systems have forgotten, but the Lord remembers.
Paul was reaching the end of his earthly journey and had no regrets. He had run the race and was now an offering that was being poured out to God. Paul’s life had not been perfect – far from it – but he heeded and followed the call of Christ and was willing to undergo great sufferings in obedience to that call. We should ask ourselves if we hear and follow God’s call, not whether our lives are perfect.
Perfection consists of love and obedience. In this story, we have all met someone like the Pharisee – perhaps we have sometimes played the part. He was smug and self-satisfied and did not recognise his own inner darkness and need for healing. He projected it all on the hapless tax collector, who was broken and miserable.
The tax collector knew his own inner poverty and begged for mercy. He was the one who went home justified in God’s eyes – it was his honesty and humility that God saw. We despise in others what we fear in ourselves. We should always clean our own house first.
Lord, increase our faith, hope and charity. Amen.