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To the temple area to pray


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Gospel: Lk18:9-14


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.

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The Pharisee does not pray to God; he is more focused on himself. He does not ask himself how he appears in God’s eyes; rather, he tells God all the good things he accomplishes. He goes on to deprecate others, especially the tax collector. The tax collector, however, remains at a distance, does not even raise his eyes to heaven, and in humility prays, “O God, be merciful to me a sinner.” His prayer comes from a repentant, humble heart – and it wins him acceptance before God.

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.