From the Deacon’s Desk: Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts
October 27 – Thirtieth Sunday Ordinary Time
In our gospel this week we hear the story of the Pharisee and the tax collector – both of whom come to the temple to pray. The Pharisee thanks God for not making him like the rest of humanity, and reminds him of all the good things he does. The tax collector prays with humility, asking for mercy as a sinner.”
Each of us has a choice to make every time we come to God in prayer. Will we be like the Pharisee, giving thanks for all the blessings we have, and ‘remember’ our obedience to God and all that we do for Him? Or will we be like the tax collector – coming in humility and asking for mercy for our sinfulness? Truth be told, I suspect we all have some of the Pharisee in us – I know I do.
As Vincentians, we do many good works. We are generous. We are kind. And we are hopefully patient. But it is easy to sometimes forget that what we do is by the grace of God. Sometimes it is easy to become judgmental. This is why our prayerful reflection with each other, about our visits with those we serve, are so important. It is here that we search out how Christ was present in them and manifested himself to us through them. It is here that we recognize our pride that gets in the way and that we work to wash that pride away by growing in humility. It is through the poor that God gifts us with humility, if we will be present to them and to Him.
How have your encounters with those in need helped you to pray more like the tax collector and less like the Pharisee?
Lord Jesus, we thank you for the gift and grace of the vocation you have called us to. Lord, help me to recognize your presence in all those you bring before me. Help me to be present – without judgement – to those in need. Help me to learn humility and faith through their example before me. Be merciful to me, a sinner! We pray all of this in your name. Amen