For a more enriching experience,
go down on your knees to pray or take it one step further
and prostrate yourself (lay face down) on the floor while praying.
Father, today's reading is quite an eye opener when I see the example of the two approaches to You that Jesus exampled for us. The first example is about a Pharisee whose approach to You is through pointing out all of his wonderful deeds. The braggodocious Pharisee details his own greatness and tells You all he has done so You will be impressed. The Pharisee is full of pride, he is self-righteous and he looks down on others as he barks out to You, "O God, I thank You that I am not like the rest of humanity." He certainly recognized everyone else's sin except his own. He continues to carry on with how religious he is through own his religious activity.
The second example is about a tax collector whose approach to You is through reverence. This man wouldn't even raise his eyes to You. He could not even look up because he was so full of respect and awe. He knew exactly who he was talking to. He also knew exactly who he was and he owned it outloud to You. The tax collector had turned on his own people to take up taxes for Rome, while at the same time was allowed to take up extra money for himself and skim a bit off the top. Some for Rome, some for him. Some for Rome, some for him. He was doing Rome's dirty work and was rewarded for doing so. This man knew he was a sinner, owned it and begged for mercy beating his chest. The tax collector was reverent, he was humble and he was repentent.
While the Pharisee piled up his Good deeds so that You might applaud and revere him, the tax collector revered You 'first' and then laid out his bad deeds 'second'. Jesus tells us in the reading, which way is the right way and which man is justified in his approach. Thank You for this wonderful lesson today in all the ways I needed to hear it, see it and feel it.
Through Jesus Christ's Most Precious Blood, Most Sacred Name and Most Holy Face, I thank You for this awareness. Amen~
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke
9 He then addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else.
10 "Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.
11 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--greedy, dishonest, adulterous--or even like this tax collector.
12 I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.'
13 But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, 'O God, be merciful to me a sinner.'
14 I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted."
The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to You Lord Jesus Christ
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