Sunday’s parable calls us to take an honest look at ourselves. It calls us to realize that all of us are in the position of the tax collector, for all of us are sinners.Where we sit in church is not what is most important but where we think we stand in the eyes of God.
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God persists in looking for justice, honesty, and righteousness from the people he has created. God wants us to be fair in our dealings with each other. God wants us to never give up working for justice. God will not allow our consciences to be at peace while there is injustice in this world.
When we hear Sunday’s Gospel we hear it as a reminder that we are to give God thanks and praise for all the material blessings that we have received. We might hear it as a reminder to give thanks for the gift of faith that we share with the Samaritan and Naaman. Like them we have the faith that enables us to recognize the presence of God in our world and in our lives. For that, “Let us give thanks to our Lord our God!”
We would never accept a position without a detailed job description, Jesus reminds us as Christians we too have a job description – We promised to love God and our neighbor, to resist temptation and sin, to care for the suffering, to let the words and example of Jesus guide our decisions, to work for justice and peace, to be unafraid to be known as a disciple of Jesus, to give time to prayer and worship, and to pass on our faith to a new generation.
Everyone saw images of the suffering caused by Hurricane Dorian, but not everyone acted. Seeing was not enough. It is seeing that touches the heart – that explains why some people are motivated to act.
Consider if we heard the words the steward heard in today’s parable, “Prepare a full account of your stewardship.” Certainly those words would make us look at our lives and force us to see the occasions when we acted like that dishonest steward. We did what benefited us rather than what benefited the coming of God’s kingdom. We followed our will rather than the will of our Divine Master.
When it comes to being accused of associating with sinners, Jesus is guilty as charged!He continues to associate with weak and sinful people – Jesus associates with us. That happens at every Mass.
While laws can help to improve our society, perhaps true improvement only happens when people begin to see one another in a new way, as fellow children of God.
Today’s Gospel warns us about the dangers of rating ourselves above others,Jesus tells us not to do this, but to humble ourselves.
Do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior? As challenging as that question is, there is an even more important question to consider, one that comes from this Sunday’s Gospel.The more critical question is this: Does Jesus Christ know me as one of his disciples?
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