Saturday, March 13, 2010


There are some good parallels between today's Saturday Gospel and the Gospel for this 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time, which, if your parish is not using the "A" cycle readings (for those preparing for Baptism), will be the Parable of the Prodigal Son.
Today's Parable was that of the Pharisee and the Publican. Remember them? "Two men went up to the Temple to pray." Jesus (who would be in a position to know) said that the Pharisee prayed "to himself": "I thank you, O God, that I am not like the rest of men..." and he delivered a short list of particularly spectacular sins of which he was not guilty, unlike "this publican here."
Said publican, meanwhile, was just repeating "Have mercy on me, O God, a sinner."
How like the two brothers in Sunday's story. The elder brother, consumed with envy, narrates his own virtues and sums up his long-lost (but now found) brother's escapades without leaving much to anyone's imagination. The returnee, though,  had made no real claims on the family. He was basically throwing himself at their mercy, to be "treated like one of the hired hands."
The younger brother and the publican had nothing to hide: their spiritual ruin was right out there. All it took to experience mercy was the simple acknowledgment of the situation.
The same would be for the elder brother and the Pharisee, if only they could see.
And, on this Laetare Sunday weekend, that is cause for rejoicing!

1 comment:

Brian said...

Very good reflection. Thank you Sister!