Reflection from Fr. Taylor: October 23, 2016, 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18; 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18; Luke 18:9-14

Today’s Gospel gives us some reflections on the idea of prayer.  Not every pious utterance of words are prayer.  Indeed prayer can be both self centered and selfish.

To be sure everyone of us is in need of prayer.  There is nothing wrong with the Pharisee talking about living up to God’s laws and expectations.  That sounds pretty good.  The problem is that no one is perfect and to be constantly proclaiming  how good we are makes it very easy to overlook our own personal failings and misgivings.

We as church people can often fall  into this same thing.  Our prayer can never be thanking God that we are better than others.  In his prayer the Pharisee says he said he gives thanks to God, but does he really?  To be self-satisfied and complacent can be dangerous.  Any good that we do in life come first and foremost from God and it’s only because of God’s blessings.

When we look around it is easy to see the evil and wrong doing in others.  It is always okay to condemn sin and evil.  We must resent the temptation to judge.  It is never right to pass judgment on the other person.  It is good to condemn sin, but never to condemn the sinner.  We know a lot about sin, but not about sinners, only God.


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