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From: Luke 18:9-14

Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

[9] He (Jesus) also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they
were righteous and despised others: [10] “Two men went up into the temple to
pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. [11] The Pharisee stood and
prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank Thee that I am not like other men, extor-
tioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. [12] I fast twice a week,
I give tithes of all that I get.’ [13] But the tax collector, standing far off, would not
even lift up his eyes to Heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to
me a sinner!’ [14] I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than
the other; for every one who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles
himself will be exalted.”


9-14. Our Lord here rounds off His teaching on prayer. In addition to being perse-
vering and full of faith, prayer must flow from a humble heart, a heart that repents
of its sins: “Cor contritum et humiliatum, Deus, non despicies” (Psalm 51:19);
the Lord, who never despises a contrite and humble heart, resists the proud and
gives His grace to the humble (cf. Peter 5:5; James 4:6).

The parable presents two opposite types—the Pharisee, who is so meticulous a-
bout external fulfillment of the Law; and the tax collector, who in fact is looked on
as a public sinner (cf. Luke 19:7). The Pharisee’s prayer is not pleasing to God,
because his pride causes him to be self-centered and to despise others. He be-
gins by giving thanks to God, but obviously it is not true gratitude, because he
boasts about all the good he has done and he fails to recognize his sins; since
he regards himself as righteous, he has no need of pardon, he thinks; and he re-
mains in his sinful state; to him also apply these words spoken by our Lord to a
group of Pharisees on another occasion: “If you were blind, you would have no
guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains” (John 9:41). The Phari-
see went down from the temple, therefore, unjustified.

But the tax collector recognizes his personal unworthiness and is sincerely sor-
ry for his sins: he has the necessary dispositions for God to pardon him. His eja-
culatory prayer wins God’s forgiveness: “It is not without reason that some have
said that prayer justifies; for repentant prayer or supplicant repentance, raising
up the soul to God and re-uniting it to His goodness, without doubt obtains par-
don in virtue of the holy love which gives it this sacred movement. And therefore
we ought all to have very many such ejaculatory prayers, said as an act of loving
repentance and with a desire of obtaining reconciliation with God, so that by thus
laying our tribulation before our Savior, we may pour out our souls before and wi-
thin His pitiful heart, which will receive them with mercy” (St. Francis de Sales,
“Treatise on the Love of God”, Book 2, Chapter 20).

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

4 posted on 03/16/2012 11:23:11 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Mass Readings

First reading Hosea 5:15-6:6 ©
The Lord says this:
They will search for me in their misery.
‘Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces, but he will heal us;
he has struck us down, but he will bandage our wounds;
after a day or two he will bring us back to life,
on the third day he will raise us
and we shall live in his presence.
Let us set ourselves to know the Lord;
that he will come is as certain as the dawn
his judgement will rise like the light,
he will come to us as showers come,
like spring rains watering the earth.’
What am I to do with you, Ephraim?
What am I to do with you, Judah?
This love of yours is like a morning cloud,
like the dew that quickly disappears.
This is why I have torn them to pieces by the prophets,
why I slaughtered them with the words from my mouth,
since what I want is love, not sacrifice;
knowledge of God, not holocausts.

Psalm Psalm 50:3-4,18-21 ©
What I want is love, not sacrifice.
Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness.
  In your compassion blot out my offence.
O wash me more and more from my guilt
  and cleanse me from my sin.
What I want is love, not sacrifice.
For in sacrifice you take no delight,
  burnt offering from me you would refuse,
my sacrifice, a contrite spirit.
  A humbled, contrite heart you will not spurn.
What I want is love, not sacrifice.
In your goodness, show favour to Zion:
  rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.
Then you will be pleased with lawful sacrifice,
  burnt offerings wholly consumed.
What I want is love, not sacrifice.

Gospel Acclamation Ps94:8
Glory and praise to you, O Christ!
Harden not your hearts today,
but listen to the voice of the Lord.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ!

Gospel Luke 18:9-14 ©
Jesus spoke the following parable to some people who prided themselves on being virtuous and despised everyone else: ‘Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood there and said this prayer to himself, “I thank you, God, that I am not grasping, unjust, adulterous like the rest of mankind, and particularly that I am not like this tax collector here. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes on all I get.” The tax collector stood some distance away, not daring even to raise his eyes to heaven; but he beat his breast and said, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.” This man, I tell you, went home again at rights with God; the other did not. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the man who humbles himself will be exalted.’

6 posted on 03/16/2012 11:25:41 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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