HOSEA 6:1-6,PSALM 50, LUKE 18:9-14
It is somewhat ironic that as we further distance ourselves physically from each other (In order to contain the coronavirus), we are actually growing closer to each other. We are checking up on each other more sincerely through social media and phone calls, and reaching out to those in need.
Today’s Gospel is the well known parable of the Pharisee and Tax Collector praying in the temple. The self-righteous Pharisee leaves unforgiven, while the humble Tax Collector leaves justified. The Pharisee holds the Tax Collector and others in contempt. In doing so, he not only cuts himself from other people, he also cuts himself off himself from God He cannot receive God’s grace. That is the fate of all self-righteous people, of those who think themselves better than others and exakt themselves.
As a humble person, the Tax Collector knows his need both of God and of others. Humble people have empathy for others. Drawing closer to others, they grow closer to God.
Lent is a time to grow in humility. The pandemic has humbled all of us. Inevitably, as we grow closer to each other during this time, we will grow closer to God.