30th Sunday in Ordinary Time Sirach35; 12-14, 16-18, 2 Timothy 4; 6-8, 16-18, Luke 18:9-14
This week’s readings show us that our attitude plays a big part in how we should pray; humility is a major component. Sirach tells us God hears and responds to all who pray to him humbly and willingly. He heard the cry of the poor and oppressed especially the widow and orphan. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who was canonized last month by Pope Francis, exemplifies this humility for us in this year of Mercy. Because of her, countless poor and oppressed were comforted at her touch. She saw “the Face of God” in each of them and they in turn saw God in her. We as Christians are called, invited, and challenged to respond to the cry of the poor too. Following the destructive Hurricane Matthew, the people of Haiti are in great need of our help. This support could include alms, service, and much prayer.
Luke’s Gospel carries over the message of the importance of humility in our prayer life. Jesus reminds us that “Those who exalt themselves will be humbled and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” The reading shows us an example of contrasting prayer styles. We see a proud Pharisee and a contrite and humble tax collector. The Pharisee attempts to bribe God with his goodness while the lowly tax collector is humble enough to believe he can be forgiven, which he is. The Pharisee’s sin is not his arrogance but his self-reliant attitude. We all have a bit of the Pharisee in us when we fail to recognize in all humility that our own merits cannot save us but only by trusting and relying on God for our salvation and following His commandments.
Loving God, help us to be humble, prayerful servants. May we be aware of the needs of the poor and oppressed in our world today that we may alleviate some of their sufferings. We trust in your guidance as we rely on your strength.
Pat Higgins Michel, Associate