Saturday of the 3rd week of Lent
Theme: An invitation to newness of life
In the two readings we have in our liturgy today, there are wonderful lessons that will make us better children of God if we decide to practice them in our daily life. In the 1st reading of today the prophet Hosea points out the fact that we need newness of life, and it should be built on mercy not sacrifice. It is an invitation for you and I to practice mercy in our life at all times, just as we seek for mercy from both God and our brothers and sisters. If we resolve to begin to practice it in our life, we will also be living a life that is driven by love of God and neighbours. By so doing following the teaching of Jesus about the greatest of the commandments; love of God and neighbour. Dearly beloved in Christ, the season of lent encourages us in a very special way to embrace the newness of life presented to us by the prophet Hosea in today’s 1st reading. If we do it, we have nothing to lose, but a better relationship with both God and our neighbours.
The scenario that plays out in the gospel reading between the Pharisee and the tax collector who went to the temple to pray, says a lot about our worship of God. In the prayer of the Pharisee, we see a man full of pride and arrogance; a man whose action shows that he is not in need of the mercy of God and has no reason to come and pray in the first place. While in the tax collector we see a humble and contrite man. He acknowledged his sinfulness and feels he is not even worthy to come close to God, so he stayed far away. This is the height of humility. We were told that he went home justified unlike the Pharisee. My brothers and sisters in Christ let us learn to concentrate on ourselves, instead of worrying about the relationship of the other person with God. Let your concern always be between you and God at all times. We are all humans and are broken people. No one is perfect and without fault. May God grant us the grace to always be humble. Peace be with you.