Reflection of the Word of God, October 23rd 2022.
TWO WAYS TO PRAY
Jesus told this parable about some who considered themselves righteous and despised others. The Pharisee is a scrupulous observant of the law and a faithful practitioner of religion. He feels sure of himself. He prays standing and with his head held high. But he does not thank God for his greatness, his goodness or mercy, but for how good and great he is himself.
The publican's prayer is very different. His own presence in the temple is a source of discomfort to others. He is a public sinner, how dare he enter a sacred and holy place? He is aware of his condition, he knows that he is a sinner. But he knows that God is great, he is good and merciful. The beating of his chest and the few words he whispers from him say it all: "My God, have mercy on me, I am a sinner." In his prayer there is authenticity. This man is a sinner, but he is headed in the right direction toward conversion.
The question is: What is our attitude when entering the house of God? To whom do we stand more, the Pharisee or the publican?