Sunday, October 27, 2013


Jesus told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt: "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, `God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.' But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, `God, be merciful to me, a sinner!' I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted." Luke 18:9-14

People want to know some hidden secret of living a faithful life. They come to me all the time seeking answers to the challenges of life. In my own life, the challenges I face are too often of my own making, and I get angry with God for my predicament. We often want some quick solution, some magic, for our problems. We already know what to do. To live a life of humility, compassion and generosity are the way to walk with God. And yet I struggle with that simple prescription for my life.

Jesus encounter those who want very specific rules for a faithful life. They want to know how to live so that they will be blessed. He tells them to be humble and they will know God's forgiveness. We too often want to be right rather than humble, to be better than others rather than one of the crowd. We are invited to be part of the crowd, living life of generosity and service right where we are. God promises to bless us, if we are but honest about our need and respond to the needs of others.

Today I ask God to help me have a humble heart. May we see every challenge as an opportunity to seek God's blessing. May our failures make room for God's love in our lives. And may we be inspired to be generous and forgiving since God has blessed us so much today.

The Collect

Almighty and everlasting God, increase in us the gifts of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain what you promise, make us love what you command; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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