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SATURDAY OF THE THIRD WEEK OF LENT MARCH 21, 2020





A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 18:9-14


Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else. “Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector. The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity — greedy, dishonest, adulterous — or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’ But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’ I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”


Reflection

“ ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’ I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”


The year was 1918 and the Swine Flu began to bring the world to a halt during World War I. Many of your grandparents were children during the epidemic that had the capability to kill the infected in 24-48 hours. Fast forward one hundred years later, and we have the Coronavirus causing death and division world-wide, shutting down public places. The devastating lessons learned from the past help us to save lives today. However, the most heart-breaking news for the faithful is the Catholic Church closing its doors to celebrate mass.


In this unprecedented time, we can take a look at how important the mass is to us and where our heart lies. Jesus gives an example of two people who go to the temple to worship God. The Pharisee is constantly looking around and comparing himself to others. He views himself as above others and very pleasing to God. He has his checklist to assure himself of his righteousness. The tax collector is only focused on God and views himself honestly, as a sinner in need of forgiveness. He rends his heart and calls for the mercy of God, placing God in his rightful place of the highest honor.


The heart is where God can reach us and turn us around. The heart is where God exalts the spirit, so the soul will find peace. Sometimes, God allows our hearts to break so he can enter in. Let us worship God during this pandemic and know that our almighty God has not abandoned us, but is awaiting our humble contrition so we can be justified.

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