March 30, 2019
by Steve Scholer
Creighton University's University Relations
click here for photo and information about the writer

Saturday of the Third Week of Lent
Lectionary: 242

Hosea 6:1-6
Psalms 51:3-4, 18-19, 20-21AB
Luke 18:9-14
Praying Lent Home

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

As we come down the “back stretch” of our forty-day walk through the desert with Jesus, today’s Gospel is a refrain and also a nice reminder of the Gospel from Matthew we read at the beginning of Lent, on Ash Wednesday, when Jesus said do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them.

Luke repeats the theme of humility in his Gospel with the story of the sanctimonious Pharisee reminding God what a wonderful person he is, as contrasted with the tax collector, who stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, 'O God, be merciful to me a sinner.

If we think about it, being humble should be easy for a Catholic, because how can someone even begin to compare oneself to God? But life is never that easy, and all too often our pride gets in the way of being our best self, and the way we wish to be seen in the eyes of God.

If it is our desire to put God at the center of our lives, then humility should be easy for us to practice. If we are true to ourselves and recognize our faults and limitations – and let’s face it, we were born sinners and we will die sinners – then we can receive the grace that God extends to those who are humble.

Being humble is a freeing experience. You don’t feel the need to compare yourselves with others, be it the car they drive or the house they live in, because you know yourself and don’t need someone else’s opinion to validate your own self-worth. The only opinion that matters is God’s.

Humility makes it easy for us to interact with others, as the humble person rarely takes offense at slights, real or imagined, and is quick to acknowledge their own errors. Humility also leads to greater compassion, as a deeper awareness of our own faults and weaknesses makes it easier to be understanding of those who, like us, have stumbled along the way.

As we continue our Lenten journey during our daily Examen of Consciousness, we should pause and assess our own humility. In our daily prayers to God are we sometimes like the Pharisee reminding him about all the good things we have done? Or, do we embrace humility as a sign of our growing spiritual development and willingness to accept a deeper, more meaningful relationship with God?

Hopefully, out of this introspection we will not only see where we often fall short in the eyes of God, but also strive to overcome these weakness, so we can better serve the Lord.   

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