“…For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled but he who humbles himself, will be exalted” – Luke 18:14
REFLECTION – “You know what our divine Saviour, who is very truth and goodness, said to His disciples: “Unless your justice abound more than that (…) of the Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:20). These words are truly those of Christ. He who would not condemn the woman taken in adultery; who vouchsafed to speak to the Samaritan woman and reveal heavenly mysteries to her in spite of her guilty life; He who consented to eat with the publicans, socially disqualified as sinners; who allowed Magdalen to wash His feet and wipe them with the hairs if her head; He who was so “meek and humble of heart” (Mt 11:29), publicly hurled anathemas at the Pharisees: “Woe to you (…) hypocrites, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 23:13). (…)
Call to mind the Pharisee whom Christ depicts going up to the Temple to pray. What is his prayer? “My God, I am a man altogether irreproachable; I fast, I give tithes (Lk 18:11-12); You cannot find me in fault on any point; You ought to be proud of me.” And in the literal sense, what he said was true – he did observe all these things.
However, what judgement does Jesus pass upon him? This man went out of the Temple without being justified, his heart empty of God’s grace. Why this condemnation? Because the unhappy man glorified himself, for his good actions and placed all his perfection, in merely outward observance, without troubling himself about the inward dispositions of his heart. Therefore, our Lord tells us: “Unless your justice is greater than that of the Pharisees, you will have no part in the Kingdom of heaven.” (…) It is in the heart that perfection lies; for love is the supreme law.” – Bl Columba Marmion (1858-1923) Abbot – The “instruments of good works” (Christ, the Ideal of the Monk)
PRAYER – We turn to You our God and Father and seek Your comfort and assurance. Jesus, our Lord, Your Son, taught us how to pray in humility and all we need to be and do, to reach You. Be patient good Father, as we grow by Your grace. May the prayers of the Mother of Christ, help us to attain our home Through Jesus our Lord, in union with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.