Saturday 3rd Week of Lent.
Jesus makes the point that the Pharisee prayed,
not to God, but to himself.
He thinks somehow that God is in need of his good deeds.
Can we ever give God anything that is good
which we haven’t already received
from his generosity and mercy?
Living in God’s kingdom, everything is Grace.
Everything we do and everything we say has his blessing.
Jesus reminds us as well in John’s gospel that without him we can do nothing.
That is, without God we are incapable of doing anything good that pleases God.
So how do we pray in a way that pleases Almighty God
so that we know he hears our prayer?
How important it is to pray with a clean heart.
So, we begin our prayer time
with an examination of conscience,
calling on the Lord’s merciful love.
We want to be right with God when we pray.
That’s how the Holy Mass begins.
After we make the sign of the cross,
we welcome the Lord’s presence,
and we hear the words;
“Let us recall to mind our sins and ask God for mercy.”
This is how the tax collector prayed.
He didn’t compare himself to the Pharisee.
He didn’t want to be like the Pharisee.
He wanted to be like God.
He knew so well how far he fell short of that likeness.
So he centered on how he stood before God in all honesty.
In deep humility, he bowed his head.
He dare not look up in case he became distracted and lost his focus.
And what did he find deep in his heart;
the beautiful mercy of the Lord in all its fullness?
In that mercy, he found how much God loved him.
My friends, pray for that mercy.
Let us keep our focus on the Lord Jesus
and all the good things he does for us.
And as we leave our prayer time,
the Presence of the Lord will be with us
like Mother Mary who proclaimed
“the Almighty has done great things for me.”
What would you say is the greatest thing
the Almighty has done for you?