Today’s gospel reading is the story of the tax collector and the Pharisee, which brought to mind this hope-filled reflection by Sr. Ruth Burrows will encourage those of you who find it easier to identify with the Pharisee than the publican:
Perceptive, quick to see the flaws in another, I was prone to criticism, finding a certain satisfaction in seeing another at fault as though this, in some way, raised me up. I knew that no fault would so displease our Lord or stop his grace as this harsh judgment on his children. I realized I had the mentality of a pharisee but, I thought to myself, if a pharisee had turned to our Lord and admitted his hardness of heart, his crabbed, mean spirit and asked for help, our Lord would have helped him. So I did the same. The pharisee became the publican. I came to realize that temptations to pride, the sins of the pharisee, could make one a publican. The stone which the builders rejected could become head of the corner. I tried to use these bad tendencies to grown in humility.