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Liturgical day: Sunday 30th (C) in Ordinary Time

Gospel text (Lc 18,9-14): Jesus told another parable to some persons fully convinced of their own righteousness, who looked down on others, «Two men went up to the Temple to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

»The Pharisee stood by himself and said: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people, grasping, crooked, adulterous, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give the tenth of all my income to the Temple’.

»In the meantime the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast saying: ‘O God, be merciful to me, a sinner’. I tell you, when this man went down to his house, he had been set right with God, but not the other. For whoever makes himself out to be great will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be raised».

«O God, be merciful to me...»

Fr. Joan Pere PULIDO i Gutiérrez
(Sant Feliu de Llobregat, Spain)

Today, we read St. Luke's Gospel with special attention and interest. A parable addressed to our hearts. Words of life to reveal our human and Christian authenticity, which is based upon the meekness of realizing we are nothing but sinners («O God, be merciful to me, a sinner»: Lk 18:13), and in God's mercy and goodness towards us («For whoever makes himself out to be great will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be raised»: Lk 18:14).

Today, more than ever before, we need the authenticity to discover the self and emphasize the liberating reality of God's plan, in our lives and in our society. It is our right attitude if we desire the Verity of our faith to reach with all its strength today's men and women. Three are the axies that go along with this evangelic authenticity: power and love and self-control (cf. 2Tim 1:7).

Power, to be cognizant of God's word and keep it in our lives, no matter the difficulties. Especially, in our days, we must pay attention to this point, because in our environment there is plenty of self-deception. St. Vincent de Lérins warned us: «Right now the rottenness of a new heresy starts spreading and this time, to justify itself, it takes over some verses from the Scriptures, which, on top of everything, are interpreted with falsehood and fraud».

Love, to be able to look with tender eyes —that is, with God's eyes— at the person or event we have in front of us. Saint John Paul II encourages us to «foster a spirituality of communion», that —among other things— indicates «above all the heart's contemplation of the mystery of the Trinity dwelling in us, and whose light we must also be able to see shining on the face of the brothers and sisters around».

And, finally, the self-control, to be able to transmit this Verity in today's language, really incarnating God's Word in our life: «They will believe in our deeds more than in any discourse» (St. John Crysostom).