Categories: HomiliesPublished On: October 23rd, 2022Tags: , 471 words14.3 min read

Here are links to our readings for the day:


At the end of the gospel, the tax collector went home justified. Justified. What does that mean to you?

By the dictionary it means the tax collector went home having done the right thing. It does not say his sins were forgiven. He would have received the grace of God for his humility, but we should not assume his sins were forgiven. Neither man received forgiveness for their sins. With this thought in mind let us look once more at the gospel.

The Pharisee is a religious leader. He follows the rules of his faith. He prays as directed. He observes a fast on two days a week. He follows the Commandments. We can deduce he is a good person. His downfall is the criteria by which he judges himself. He also judges others by comparing them to himself.

Just the fact that he knows he is good cannot give him permission to judge others. His prayer to God is not a prayer to God. What he is praying is to himself. He speaks of how good he is. There is no need for God to hear his prayer. It really is not even a prayer.

The tax collector is humble. Have mercy on me a sinner. This why we say ‘Senor ten piedad’ at the penitential rite at the start of mass. He knows he is a sinner and rightly asks for mercy. He does not ask for forgiveness. Perhaps he realizes that tomorrow he will go back to work and commit the same sins again. He does not have that conversion of heart to make a change in his life. He knows he must ask for forgiveness and mercy but is not ready to change.

We must realize that sometimes we are both men. Sometimes judgmental, other times humble and seeking mercy.

Another thought we should consider is how we pray. Are we at the front of the church because we judge ourselves to be better? Are we at the back of the church because we judge ourselves to be sinners but make no plans to change our lives? Do we kneel before God in humble prayer? Do we lift our eyes to see God, to offer our worship to Him? Or are we afraid of God and do not look up to see His glory?

So many questions to reflect upon. We need to look inward to know who we are. Then we need to go out to be the best we can for God. Then we know we are not only justified but through God’s mercy forgiven.

May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen