Posted by: livingscripture | March 17, 2012

Third Saturday of Lent

From the Word of the Day

“Two people went up to the Temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.  The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank You that I am not like the rest of humanity…the tax collector stood off at a distance …beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner’.”

                                                           Luke 18: 10-13          

How should we live this Word 

‘Humans look at appearances.  The Lord looks at the heart.’  (Cf 1Samuel16: 7)  This is what today’s parable wishes to tell us.  With his prayer, the Pharisee thinks he does not need to be saved.  He is in place with himself and others.  He is actually having a monologue with himself since He says nothing to God.

At the back of theTemple, stood the tax collector, a sinner.  He beats his breast, sincerely asking forgiveness from the Lord.  He speaks with God.

The Pharisee is the self-sufficient person who asks more for incense than for blessings.  The tax collector is the humble person and, therefore, authentic.  He knows he needs mercy because he is a sinner and fragile.  His prayer that touches the Father is today called the Prayer of the Heart.  It is a real gift from Jesus, together with the Our Father.

Today in my pause for silent contemplation, I will ask the Lord for the gift of humble and sincere prayer.

Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner! 

The voice of St. Mary Domenica Mazzarello, Co-Foundress 

It is true that we are capable of nothing, but with humility and prayer, we will have the Lord close to us and when the Lord is with us, all things go well.


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