Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
October 24, A.D. 2004
Scripture from Today's Liturgy of the Word:
2 Timothy 4:6-8,16-18
A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:
Some of Jesus' parables seem generic and speak of faults that are rooted to some extent in all of us, while others like today's parable, might at first glance seem directed only to certain people. In actuality however, even these speak to the tendencies that all of us share because of our broken human nature.
Today's Gospel story about the Pharisee and the tax collector illustrates something very important for us. In it the Pharisee thinks he does everything correctly, while the tax collector knows the true state of his soul and hardly dares to raise his eyes to heaven for forgiveness. The point is that the Pharisee is not sinful because of his practices, because we are told that he seems to do a lot of good things. It is instead, his bad attitude and the contempt he has for those he thinks don't measure up to him.
How like the Pharisee are we, who in the first stages of religious fervor went to great lengths to root out sinfulness in our lives only to become prey for the devil to tempt us into becoming self-satisfied about our reformed behaviors and full of contempt for the behavior and actions of others?
The good news is that Jesus knows our human nature, our weaknesses, our foibles and has a remedy for them. It requires however that we stay close to Him, His Word, His Church so that we remain sensitive enough to discover even our subtle transgressions and take action to correct them.
"...no one incurs guilt who takes refuge in Him" (Psalm 34:23)
- Donna Raye Nelson, ocds
(drn3rd at hotmail dot com)
Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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