Gospel Reflection- Saturday 3rd Week of Lent (26 March 2022) – The Pharisee and the Tax Collector
Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Luke (18: 9-14) in which Jesus tells the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector – two men, two prayers, two attitudes, two verdicts.
Fr Paul says Luke is a real promoter of prayer and he frequently offers hints about it. Jesus in Luke’s Gospel is explicitly mentioned as being in prayer more than any of the other Gospels. Jesus’s parables also insist on the need to persevere in prayer.
In today’s Gospel we have two men – a Pharisee and a tax collector and we see through these men two prayers. The Pharisee’s is a pompous and self-contradictory bragging of innocence; that’s the kind of prayer he prays. With the tax collector, he prays a prayer of humility of self-accusation. Hence, we have the lesson towards the end of the Gospel – ‘For everyone who exalts themselves will be humbled, but the man who humbles himself will be exalted’.
With this in mind, as we continue our Lenten Journey, Fr Paul says we might ask ourselves, ‘How well do I live the virtue of humility in my own life?’ If I was to be the tax collector, what would I accuse myself of when seeking forgiveness?’