30th Sunday Ordinary Time Cycle C
October 27, 2013.
Click to Listen to the Readings
In the gospel, Jesus tells the parable about the Pharisee and the tax collector.
If we stop and really think about it, many of us are like the Pharisee.
We refuse to look at our own failings, our own problems, our own sinfulness. At times we may even thank God that we are not big sinners like some people we know.
The readings from this Sunday can help us to not be afraid to look deeply at our own spirituality and to not be afraid to look deeply at our own sinfulness, which we often times do not want to look at.
The first reading was written by a Jewish writer in the second century before Christ.
He was a pious Jew who saw that many times people had only turn to God when they needed something. He also points out that God is a God of justice and certainly hears the cry of the oppressed, the poor.
It can give us courage when we see our own sinfulness and recognize that we are poor, we are the lonely. We are the tax collector in the parable Jesus gave in our Gospel reading today. It can be difficult to really look at our own failures and sins without giving an excuse, and it is much easier to see other peoples sinfulness .
But when we are able to see our own sinfulness, that is the time when we are like the tax collector in the Gospel and receive God's mercy. The first reading from Sirach assures us that God is not deaf to the ears of those who we cry out for mercy.
We hear in this letter from St. Paul, who was drawing closer to his execution,
as he reflects back on the how the Lord was the one who had always rescued him.
He knows, looking back on all the pain, suffering, and struggles, that God was the one that helped him to fight the good fight and complete the race.
Paul clearly knows that God has been the one that has always been merciful to him and kept him safe.
Paul was not afraid of sufferings, hardships, shipwrecks, and even rejections. He understood that God was a God of great mercy and forgiveness, especially to the lowly.
In our struggles, in our difficulties, we are the lowly. We do not have to be afraid of our weaknesses because it is there that we can always receive God's mercy.
There can be no more trying to make excuses for our failures and sinfulness.
This week, today,
run the race!
Once again receive God's...