“Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

On this day we read Luke’s account of Jesus’ parable told “to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else” (from the first verse of Lk 18:9-14).  In it, Jesus contrasts the proud Pharisee who lauds his own works while looking down upon a tax collector in the distance who, in humility, says nothing but, “O God, be merciful to me a sinner” (v. 13).  The latter goes home justified because of his humility.  Humility in prayer is the only proper disposition.  Since God is the antithesis of sin, when we sin, we take the blame, and vow to avoid iniquity and make amends.  If something we have done has had a good effect, we give glory to God for the gifts He has given us and thanks to Him for giving us the grace to cooperate with His will.  Let us never seek the accolades of persons, but only the approval of God: “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.” (Mt 6:33)

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