Luke 18: 9-14
The Story of the Tax Man and the Pharisee
He told his next story to some who were complacently pleased with themselves over their moral performance and looked down their noses at the common people: “Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a tax man. The Pharisee posed and prayed like this: ‘Oh, God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, crooks, adulterers, or, heaven forbid, like this tax man. I fast twice a week and tithe on all my income.’
“Meanwhile the tax man, slumped in the shadows, his face in his hands, not daring to look up, said, ‘God, give mercy. Forgive me, a sinner.’”
Jesus commented, “This tax man, not the other, went home made right with God. If you walk around with your nose in the air, you’re going to end up flat on your face, but if you’re content to be simply yourself, you will become more than yourself.”
As much as we probably hate the idea we are all likely to recognise something of the Pharisee in all of us. How often we are quick to praise our efforts and point out someone else’s faults. At the end of the day we are all aware that we are sinners and that regularly we get it wrong. The tax collector should be our model, we should be able to bow our head before our God and trust in him.
As we approach the end of the Year of Mercy this is exactly what Pope Francis has called us to emulate. Bow our heads and seek Gods mercy. We are all called to be simple people of mercy and called by God to be forgiving.
As the year of Mercy comes to an end let each one of us take care that our prayer is not selfish or boastful but humble and from the heart.
Salesian School Chaplain
Father in Heaven,
This Mission Sunday let our mission be Mercy.
Let each one of us follow the footsteps of Pope Francis and reach out to those in most need, not only physically but in our prayer.
Help our become ever more humble and from the heart.
God of Mercy and compassion, hear our prayer.