Saturday, March 21, 2009

Am Where Do I Stand? 3WL Saturday 21 Mar 09

Today's Gospel

The gospel experience of two men recognized in the local community can serve as a representation of two spirits, two opposing powers that challenge each of us every day. No matter who we are, no matter what position or station we might have in a family, a community or in society --- we are men and women who are daily challenged by two spirits whether we are aware of those moments or not.

During Lent we are encourage to pray ... to pray more than devotional verses or compositions. We are called to a prayer of reflection. How have I lived my life as a follower of Jesus Christ? How have I lived the Ten Commandments, the laws of our Church?

The gospel describes the reality of genuine pride and arrogance that can capture the human heart. Jesus chooses a well-recognized individual in the communities, the Pharisee, and the not-so-respected Tax Collector. Hmmm? Sounds familiar to us in today's economic mess!

The Pharisee is portrayed in a way that many people act when they feel they are better than those without ... without a good education, without money, without a home on the "right side of the tracks," without the proper documentation both in the southwest and the northeast, without professing the same beliefs, without giving support to the same ideas.

The pride and arrogance of the Pharisee is easily understood and quickly passed over. The humility, or as some might think, the daring of the Tax Collector causes some discomfort to those who truly reflect on the scene. Does the shoe fit you? That's the question Jesus is asking in this story. This is the purpose of "Lenten prayer."