Homily for Saturday of the 3rd Week of Lent Year A
HOMILY Theme: Believe and Live the Word
By: Fr. Benny Tuazon
(Lk. 18:9-14) Saturday of the Third Week of Lent
In today’s readings, true piety is the common message. The prophet Hosea brought the word of the Lord questioning the authenticity of the faith of the Israelites. Hosea used a lot of analogies like the morning dew and the morning cloud. They should not be complacent for the reign of God will certainly come. The lure of external piety is so enticing. It was the easiest and most satisfying way. But the Lord God cannot be deceived. It finds relevance in the case of the Pharisee and the tax collector. Their attitudes in the temple were poles apart. The Pharisee, who was expected to know how piety should be lived, ended up with criticizing the tax collector and praising himself. The tax collector, on the other hand, did not waste any time advancing his relationship with God by humbling himself. He placed himself at the back, not raising his eyes, beating his breast and uttering words asking for mercy.
This attitude had been a challenge to all faithfuls of any religion for all time. Doctrines and dogmas are believed but not lived. The tendency to show off to others more than concentrating on purifying intentions dominates. It is made worse by comparing oneself with others. Of course, we will always find somebody better than us which will leave us wanting. And there will be others worse than us which may make us complacent. In both cases, we make it difficult for ourselves. The best position is the position of humility taken by the tax collector. It leaves us open and empty before the Lord. That makes us available for all the graces we need to return to Him and hopefully excel in our battle against sin and doing good works.
As Jesus said, that attitude will make us go home justified. Justice here does not mean getting fairness but having received God’s forgiveness which is more than fair! This is the very reason why God wanted us to be authentic in our words and actions. He sees our hearts and mind. He knows everything. Thus, at no time should we ever think that we could get away with anything. Let us constantly be honest and we will constantly be in God’s favour and grace.
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