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The Everyday Prayer


 
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Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome


Reading of the Word of God

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Luke 18, 9-14

He spoke the following parable to some people who prided themselves on being upright 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 everyone else, 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 justified; the other did not. For everyone who raises himself up will be humbled, but anyone who humbles himself will be raised up.'

 

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

If you believe, you will see the glory of God,
thus says the Lord.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

This page of the Gospel reports a parable Jesus told his disciples concerning how to pray. Several times Jesus taught his disciples about perseverance in prayer and the confidence they should have in turning to God. In this parable Jesus emphasizes the indispensability of humility in prayer. It is a necessary teaching since it is easy to be in God’s presence with the Pharisee attitude, claiming to be right and trusting only himself. Considering ourselves sinners and in need of forgiveness and mercy is more difficult. But Jesus warns us that pride and boldness tarnish trust in God at its very root and, in addition, they yield harsh attitudes towards others. The Pharisee goes to the temple not to beg for help or mercy, rather to praise himself in God’s presence and to claim his rights. He feels being in credit with God and claims his dues. The tax collector, on the contrary, in spite of being wealthy, respected and even feared because of his position, feels in need of help and mercy. Hence he climbs empty handed to the temple, not to claim rights but to seek aid. We could say that he goes to the temple as a beggar of pardon. Jesus tells us clearly that he is forgiven since he trusts in God, not in his wealth and reputation. Contrary to the Pharisee who confides in himself and is satisfied with his deeds and who comes back empty handed. How often in life we feel righteous and act like the Pharisee. Let us think how hard it is even recognizing our sins. We are quite able in finding and passing judgment on other’s evil acts, yet quite poor in recognizing and confessing our own. The Gospel paradox is quite evident: “For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.” Indeed the psalm proclaims: “those who are poor seek the Lord.” Let us learn humility that is the path to the encounter with God, rather than exalting ourselves above others or judging others with no compassion, feeling better than them. Let us imitate the tax collector and continue to be in the presence of the Lord, acknowledging that we are sinners and therefore begging Him for help and pardon.


03/29/2014
Sunday Vigil


Calendar of the week
DEC
4
Sunday, 4 December
Liturgy of the Sunday
DEC
5
Monday, 5 December
Prayer for the Sick
DEC
6
Tuesday, 6 December
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
DEC
7
Wednesday, 7 December
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
DEC
8
Thursday, 8 December
Feast of the Immaculate Conception
DEC
9
Friday, 9 December
Memory of Jesus crucified
DEC
10
Saturday, 10 December
Sunday Vigil
DEC
11
Sunday, 11 December
Liturgy of the Sunday

Per Natale, regala il Natale! Aiutaci a preparare un vero pranzo in famiglia per i nostri amici più poveri