Saturday, March 18, 2023

From Fr. Frank

Why does Christ give us the parable of the two men who went up to the Temple to pray? One of them, the Pharisee,  was convinced of his holiness and place before God; the bigger man, the tax collector, was convinced that he was a sinner. The Pharisee stood in the front, praying in boast, looking down on the tax collector, who stood in the back, head bowed, comparing himself to no one but simply identifying himself as a sinner in need of mercy.

Why does Jesus elevate the man who is filled with sadness, who clearly sees himself as a sinner and appears to be deeply remorseful? The humbled will be exalted, the exalted will be humbled. But isn’t Jesus emphasizing sin too much, instilling guilt? Isn’t he being awfully negative… isn’t Jesus all about “love?”

These days, we don’t like talking much about sin, if we talk about it at all. Maybe identifying as a sinner is the first step that must be taken, so that we be filled with Mercy. No sin….no mercy.