＊＊＊ 讀經一 ＊＊＊
＊＊＊ 1st Reading ＊＊＊
Come, let us return to Yahweh.
He who shattered us to pieces, will heal us as well; he has struck us down, but he will bind up our wounds. Two days later he will bring us back to life; on the third day, he will raise us up, and we shall live in his presence.
Let us strive to know Yahweh. His coming is as certain as the dawn; his judgment will burst forth like the light; he will come to us as showers come, like spring rain that waters the earth. O Ephraim, what shall I do with you? O Judah, how shall I deal with you?
This love of yours is like morning mist, like morning dew that quickly disappears. This is why I smote you through the prophets, and have slain you by the words of my mouth. For it is love that I desire, not sacrifice; it is knowledge of God, not burnt offerings.
Ps 51:3-4, 18-19, 20-21ab
It is mercy I desire, and not sacrifice.
＊＊＊＊ Gospel ＊＊＊＊
Jesus told another parable to some persons fully convinced of their own righteousness, who looked down on others, “Two men went up to the Temple to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
The Pharisee stood by himself and said: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people, grasping, crooked, adulterous, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give the tenth of all my income to the Temple.’
In the meantime the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast saying: ‘O God, be merciful to me, a sinner.’
I tell you, when this man went down to his house, he had been set right with God, but not the other. For whoever makes himself out to be great will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be raised.”
In front of God, we need not compete in such a way that we depreciate the worth of other people so as to amplify our value. The Pharisee gloats at his superiority over the tax collector.
He feels good at the expense of the latter. The funny thing is, God does not look at our achievements. He goes straight to the heart, our heart, where our true worth lies.
The heart of the Pharisee is puffed up and full of holy conceit. While the heart of the sinful tax collector is humble and contrite. Between them, the Pharisee lives a life that seems to follow the straight path.
The tax collector’s life is chaotic. But the Pharisee’s heart is full of his own righteousness. There is no room for God’s grace. Whereas the tax collector who has nothing to boast have his heart empty. That’s why the grace of God could enter.