Another beautiful reading from Hosea today for our first reading. Through the prophet, the Lord says, “For it is love that I desire, not sacrifice, and knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.”
In our Gospel reading from Luke 18, Jesus tells a parable with two very interesting characters; one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. While praying in the temple, the Pharisee raises his voice and lifts up this boastful prayer, while the tax collector will not even raise his eyes to heaven, but prayed, “O God, be merciful to me a sinner.” Take a guess as to which one went away justified.
You see, the Pharisee was DOING all the right things; tithing, praying, fasting. But he had fallen into a deadly trap, indeed, the deadliest trap of pride. He began to think of himself as better than others just because of the things he was doing. An easy hole to fall into. He couldn’t even recognize his own sinfulness any more. The tax collector, on the other hand, realized his smallness. Pray that we can avoid the trap of pride.
Father, forgive us for the times that we fall into the sin of pride. Give us true humility. Amen.
I am afraid of pride. It diminishes my praying for petitions. A man once asked me to pray for the pain in his knee. I did and the next time I saw him he said, after I left the pain went away. I made up all kinds of excuses for why the pain went away to not excuse that it was Crist working threw me.