Posted by: Fr Chris | January 23, 2010

Publican and Pharisee

We are now at the 2nd Sunday of the preparation season. Jesus points out to us the virtue of humility, manifested in another tax collector, this one bitterly repentant and aware of his sinfulness. The Pharisee in the parable makes an all-too common sin: he judges the tax collector by his profession and outward appearance, with absolutely no knowledge of the man’s inner heart.

This is something that so many of us do, often unaware. We pass judgment on the homeless, on people we think we know, on people of other cultures, and at the Last Judgment, we will find out how messed up our supposedly accurate judgments were!

I was visiting a woman who is dying, and who had stayed away from the sacraments for a long time.  The first thing she said was, “I waited too long, Father. All that time wasted.” We waste our spiritual energy in foolish emotions, false judgments, and spiritual arrogance. And what does it get us? If we are lucky, like that woman, at least honest regret. Now let us make a heartfelt effort to go forward, energized by the divine grace of the Trinity, and prepare for Great Lent with fervent hearts and real self-examination. Pray for me!

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