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Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle C

27 October 2013

Reflecting on Luke 18: 9-14

There is something very sacred about this story that Jesus tells today about the Pharisee and the tax collector.  But we must hold it close, and let its grace touch us.  To be able to consider that we might be the Pharisees, the ones who think (secretly, of course) that they are more deserving of God’s mercy than anyone else, is a grace just in itself.  We don’t think in terms of “sin” and “sinner” anymore, so to actually let that concept into our hearts can be healing already.

The surest and quickest passage to God’ mercy is to be profoundly aware of our need of it.  Try to remember a time when you were humbled by sin.  Maybe you were caught in a lie, or stopped while gossiping about someone.  Maybe one of the deadly sins has you in its vise, and the fruit of a lifetime of wrath, for example, finds you banging on the hood of somebody’s stalled car in front of you at rush hour.  Or maybe, like me, you routinely use about a thousand percent of your share of the world’s resources, and a traveling companion asks if that was really you taking that twenty-minute shower.

It is such a precious gift to be humbled, to admit our sin, to bow before God and say, “Lord, I thank you that I’ve finally been found out.  I thank you that the world now knows what you’ve known all along.  Oh God, be merciful to me, a sinner.

It doesn’t feel good, but it changes us.  It nudges us a bit closer to heaven, where sinners are welcomed home every day.

How has the awareness of sin in your life changed you?

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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).

Kathy McGovern © 2014-2015

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