Standing Firm Through God’s Mercy

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time- October 23, 2022

First Reading: Jeremiah 14:17-22

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 84:1-2,5-7,8-12

Second Reading: 2 Timothy 4:6-8,16-18

Gospel Reading: Luke 18:9-14

Today’s Gospel talks about the Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. The Gospel shows the juxtaposition of these two, what they prayed, and the attitude in how they prayed for it.

But before we dug deep into the difference between the two, Fr. Nonoy first defined what mercy and grace is. Mercy & grace is to receive something that we do not deserve. When you really think about it, we deserve punishment for the sins that we commit, but instead God shows us mercy. With that in mind, we should learn to approach God with a humble and repentant heart.

The Pharisee approached God based on his accomplishments. He boasted about his accomplishments which were all true, however what he forgot was that he really could not boast about it because those are things that God already expects from us. He boasted about his good works, but good works are supposed to be a product of our faith, not something that would give us bragging rights.

The tax collector, on the other hand, approached God with a humble and repenting heart. He asked for mercy in humility. This is what God is looking for. Good works can never replace a repentant heart. If our prayers and our hearts are prideful, it will not reach God. What touches His heart are prayers offered in humility.

Fr. Nonoy also shared that in real life, the situation can also be switched. It is also possible that the tax collector would judge the Pharisee in  his prayer while the Pharisee approaches God in humility. It does not matter what your position in life is. What matters is your heart. God always looks at the heart and the heart that approaches God in humility is the one that gets justified.

So what can we learn from the two? May we learn to have the good works of the Pharisee and the humble heart of the tax collector.

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