Saturday of the 3rd week of Lent year A

Theme: Humility in prayer

The parable of Jesus in the gospel reading from St. Luke, presents to us the attitude of two men who went into the Temple to pray. The Pharisee in his prayer showed a lot of self-righteousness and arrogance, while the tax collector humbled himself in prayer to God; accepted that he has sinned and begged for the mercy of God. Jesus made it clear that the prayer of the tax collector was received, and he went home justified, which means his prayer was answered. Jesus is using the gospel reading of today to point out the fact that there is need for us to humble ourselves in our dealings with both God and our neighbours.

My brothers and sister in Christ, self-righteousness will not take us anywhere, because we are all in need of the mercy of God. Anyone who truly wants to grow and go far in life will learn to be humble in his dealings with other people. Often, when an individual is said to be proud and arrogant like the Pharisee in todays Gospel, it is already a ‘red flag’ for many people, and it will most likely work against them. The same cannot be said about another person who is unassuming and humble like the Tax collector in today’s gospel. No matter the level we attain in life, let us try to remain humble, it will take us very far in whatever we do. The saying that “Those who humble themselves will be exalted” is very true, pride puts people off.

The prophet Hosea in todays 1st reading points out the fact that we are all in need of Gods mercy, and he encourages us to retrace our steps and go back to God. Our ability to accept our human brokenness and go to God to beg for his mercy and pardon makes a lot of difference. This understanding does not give room for any form of self-righteousness or pride, but rather repentance and humility. Like I always say, it is never too late to make amends in our life and retrace our steps and beg for the mercy of God. No one goes to God with sincere repentance and humility that is turned away by him. The season of Lent also encourages us to embrace the forgiveness and mercy of God, because we are all in need of it and are not perfect.

As we continue to strive to become better Christians may almighty God bless you in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.

Saturday of the 3rd week of Lent year A, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp