March 10, 2018 Saturday of the 3rd Week of Lent-B

Hosea 6:1-6

Psalm 51

Luke 18:9-14

For it is love that I desire, not sacrifice.  Hos 6:6

“…the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”  Luke 18:14

Lord, ask any Jew of your time which of these two was closest to God and the answer would have been “the Pharisee, of course”.  He was a good man, doing all the right things for God.  He would have made a really good leader in my parish.  However, his prayer wasn’t even to God but to “himself” so caught up was he in himself.  The tax collector was a lowly, despised sinner.  But as you pointed out, the Pharisee’s pride blinded him to what God desires.  He couldn’t see his need to love and to be open to your grace.  The tax collector knew who he was: a sinner, desperately dependent on your mercy.  He threw himself at your feet and begged for forgiveness.  Lord, you teach me that humility, knowing myself and who I am and what I need, is the cure for pride.  Help me to not look down on or put down anyone.  May I see myself as truly both blessed and totally dependent on your mercy.  My prayer is “Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me a sinner.” (Jesus Prayer)  Amen.