30th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year C
God be merciful to me, a sinner!
Almighty ever-living God,
increase our faith, hope and charity,
and make us love what you command,
so that we may merit what you promise.
As the end of the Church’s year approaches, we renew our commitment to the Lord who desires to draw ever closer to those who are humble.
The First Reading shows how the Lord hears the petitions of the poor, while the Psalm echoes this by showing the closeness of the Lord to the broken-hearted and the downtrodden.
In the Second Reading, Paul encourages the new followers of Christ to hold firm to the life God gives, even through sufferings and struggles. He uses the analogy of a runner whose eyes are fixed firmly on the prize.
In all his years of ministry, Jesus rarely speaks harshly. Indeed, the only group he seems to condemn are the Pharisees, perhaps because their pride and self-reliance make them hard to reach. The Pharisee in today’s Gospel certainly thinks he has a monopoly on God. In contrast, however, Jesus holds up the tax collector as an example, not because of what he does, but because he is sincerely asking for forgiveness. He knows his sin and his need of God, and so goes home at one with God.
This week, I endeavour to entrust myself ever more keenly to the compassion of the Lord, that it may open me more and more to his love and care. May his closeness empower me to go out to stand alongside anyone I know who is in need of help.