PRAYER 1 – The Pharisee: “O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity — greedy, dishonest, adulterous — or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.”
PRAYER 2 – The Tax Collector: “O God, be merciful to me a sinner.”
If I am really honest with myself and with you, there have been so many times in my life that I have prayed like the Pharisee. My pride of thinking that I am better than others is something I despise. I know I am no better than anyone else yet it can be easy for me to still get caught up in the “what about me” moment.
Today by the grace of God, I am more likely to pray as the Tax Collector. God has made known to me the miserable, sinful person I am. Yet with all my glaring faults, he has also made known to me how much he loves me.
Jesus finishes with tremendous words of wisdom in this Gospel parable from Luke 18 that we should take to heart as he says to us, “I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” May we all receive the grace to get on our knees before our Lord and humbly beg for his mercy reciting the prayer of the Tax Collector, “O God, be merciful to me a sinner.”