One Minute Reflection – 27 October – Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, Gospel: Luke 18:9–14
‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ … Luke 18:13
REFLECTION – “The Gospel of the two men praying in the temple, the Pharisee and the tax collector, reveals to what kind of prayer penetrates to God.
We notice a difference even in their respective postures. The one stands “with unbowed head” as if the temple belongs to him, while the other “keeps his distance,” as if he has crossed the threshold of a house in which he really does not belong.
The first one prays “to himself,” really, not even praying to God but reviewing for himself the list of his virtues assuming that, when God Himself notices them, He will respect them and marvel at them. Moreover, this man catalogues his virtues as a means of setting himself off from “other men,” none of whom have attained his level of perfection. He is travelling the road of “self-discovery,” which is precisely the path of “loss of God.” The other man can only discover sin in himself, can only find himself devoid of God, which, as he pleads, “be merciful to me,” turns into an empty place for God to occupy. No-one, whose ultimate goal is his own perfection, will ever find God.
Anyone who has the humility to permit God’s perfection to take effect in his emptiness – not by being passive but by working with the talent He gives him – will be considered a “justified” person in the sight of God.” … Cardinal Hans Urs von Balthasar (1905-1988)
PRAYER – Lord God, deepen our faith, strengthen our hope, enkindle our love and so that we may obtain what You promise, make us love what You command. Mary, holy Mother, teach us complete humility and trust, help us to be a total fiat as you are. We make our prayer, through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for all eternity, amen.