Join us as we reflect, ponder, and pray together inspired by today's Gospel.
Reflection by Leslie Lynch
Today's Gospel: Luke 18:9-14
"Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
I want to be the tax collector! I do! And sometimes I am, usually in the dead of night when my sins crowd into my mind. Somehow, I see them more clearly in the dark. They are my Mommy Monsters, worse than any of the monsters under the bed that my kids fear. At least I can comfort my children (until the next night!)
My sins, though they seem inconsequential in daylight, are revealed at night for what they are: slaps in the face of God. Petty whining that must grate in His ears. My “sharing the news of the neighborhood” is often really gossip, a sin that causes unimaginable damage and anguish. My snarky answer to a clerk tears down God’s kingdom instead of building it up. When a store employee makes a mistake in my favor, do I correct them? If not, even though it’s small, I have stolen.
While I may not be guilty of greed or dishonesty or adultery, I do have sins that put me squarely in the shoes of the tax collector. And each of those sins predisposes me to bigger sins. (Check out Elizabeth Scalia’s book, Little Sins Mean a Lot.)
But worse than my sins is my desire to be like the righteous Pharisees in this reading! I go to Mass! My kids go to Faith Formation! My family gives generously to the annual parish and archdiocesan stewardship campaigns! I volunteer! And I’m a mother! How much more obvious can my sacrifice be???
It’s human to feel this way—and God isn’t asking you to do more! Just try to find your way to the repentant tax collector’s corner more often. In daylight, even.
In what ways do I exalt myself like the Pharisee—and how can I be humble like the tax collector?
O God, be merciful to me, a sinner!
Copyright 2021 Leslie Lynch
Leslie Lynch lives near Louisville, Kentucky, with her husband and a rescued feral-turned-sweetheart cat. She’s written three full-length novels: Hijacked, Unholy Bonds, and Opal’s Jubilee; and two novellas: Christmas Hope and Christmas Grace. She is an occasional contributor to the Archdiocese of Indianapolis’s newspaper, The Criterion, and holds an MFA in Writing from Spalding University. Connect with her at www.leslielynch.com
About the Author
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