30th Sunday Pointers

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Luke 18:9-14

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A biblical commentator points out that the parable Jesus proclaims is essential in at least three aspects:

1.  The Parable tells us that God knows us as we really are.

2.  The Parable tells us that God accepts us as we are.

3.  Although God accepts us as we are, He never leaves us as we are.

*****

 There are two persons in the story—both of them at prayer in the temple—the Pharisee and the tax collector. According to the understanding of the time, the Pharisee belonged to the class of people who were considered experts in holy living. As he himself asserts, not other persons, he did many good 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! He was not actually praying—he was advertizing himself. He was selling himself to God.

*****

 But there is a very big BUT—the Pharisee was so filled with his self-righteousness that he judged the tax collector to be so un-holy. Well, it might be true that the tax collector was 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. His prayer is not an exercise in self- publicity, but a confession and a plea for mercy. He is not selling himself, but opening himself to God in his sinfulness. The parable ends telling us that of the two, the one who went home from the temple justified was not the self-righteous Pharisee but the mercy-seeking tax collector.

*****

The tax collector didn’t have to tell God who he was. He knew who he was—a sinner and he knew that God knew who he was.. And Jesus says, “It is this man who went home justified.” To be justified means to be declared “not guilty.” It means to be declared right. The tax collector is declared to be in the right relationship to God while the Pharisee, who is so certain of his own righteousness, is shown to be in the wrong relationship with God.

*****

Jesus has 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. 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?

*****

God knows who we are  and accepts us just the way we are but will never leave us as we are—he will bring the humble and the repentant home . . . justified! .

*****

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Frei Bo

Frei Bo

Priest-Religious of the Order of Augustinian Recollects, Province of St. Ezekiel Moreno. Webmaster.

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< 2021 >
September 26 - October 02
  • 26

    All day
    September 26, 2021

    107th WORLD DAY OF MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES
    Theme: Towards an Ever Wider “We”

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Concesa da Silva, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Lourdes Mirasol, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Socorro Ladim, SAR (Antipolo Chapter)

  • 27

    All day
    September 27, 2021

    2021 WORLD TOURISM DAY
    (cf. Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development)

    BIRTHDAY
    Sr. Rafaela Paras, AR
    Sr. Damiana Tafalla, AR
    Sr. Ma. Melodina Ramirez, AR
    Sis. Estrella Buelo, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Teresa Fuertes, SAR (Cavite Chapter)
    Sis. Rosita Lacao, SAR (Inagawan Chapter)
    Sis. Susan Manalon, SAR (Inagawan Chapter)
    Sis. Ruth Miralles, SAR (Inagawan Chapter)
    Sis. Encarnacion Cinco, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY:
    +Sr. Genoveva del Santissimo Sacramento, AR

  • 28

    All day
    September 28, 2021

    PRAYER INTENTION: FOR THE MISSION (cf. LAMP I,5c)

    BLESSED MARTYRS OF JAPAN

    ANNIVERSARY OF EPISCOPAL ORDINATION
    Bp. Peter Liu of Kaohsiung (Taiwan) [1994-2021]

    BIRTHDAY
    Sis. Salome Mapili, SAR (Valencia Chapter)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sr. Iluminada Apurillo, AR

  • 29

    All day
    September 29, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Roderick Deguit
    Sis. Mercedita Macabihag, SAR (San Carlos Chapter)
    Rodelin Oredina (RAY-Talisay)

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Maria Acuña, SAR (Cebu Chapter)
    +Sis. Elvira Birondo, SAR (Talisay Chapter)

  • 30

    All day
    September 30, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Ferdinand Fornilos
    Sr. Crisanta Lerios, AR
    Sis. Teresita Labos, SAR (Cebu Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF PRESBYTERAL ORDINATION
    (2017-2021)
    Fray Invenzor Melgazo
    Fray Jayferson Baldelovar
    Fray Mark Saludes

  • 01

    All day
    October 1, 2021

    LAUNCHING OF ROSARY MONTH

    Note to all Local Priors [for the Book of Masses]: After the feast of the Archangels (Sept. 29), “a Mass is to be offered for the living relatives, friends, and benefactors of the Order” (cf. Add. Code 70d)

    DEADLINE OF SUBMISSION OF VOTES (PROVINCIAL LEVEL)
    FOR THE ELECTION OF DELEGATES TO THE 56TH GENERAL CHAPTER

  • 02

    All day
    October 2, 2021

    BIRTHDAY
    Fray Leonardo Pauligue
    Sr. Leah Lachica, AR
    Bro. Mariano Antenor, SAR (Bacolod Chapter)
    Sis. Ma. Luisa Cabunag, SAR (Manila Chapter)
    Sis. Costidella Viente, SAR (Valencia Chapter)
    Sis. Madilene Bongcayao, SAR (Laray Chapter)

    ANNIVERSARY OF SIMPLE PROFESSION
    (2004-2021) Fray Leo Alaras

    DEATH ANNIVERSARY
    +Sis. Marlene Gomez, SAR (Tondo Chapter

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