Hope for the pharisee

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.

One thought on “Hope for the pharisee

  1. Years ago I when I would reflect on this passage, I clearly saw those Pharisaical tendencies in me…I wanted to be the best and the meekest at the same time. It took me a long time to realize and accept that the two could not really stand to together. I know that I will be calling on God’s mercy for me in this area for the rest of my life as it is so easy to be deceived from withing.

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