18th MARCH 2023

Luke 18:9–14 (ESV) - Luke 18:9–14 ESV - He also told this parable to… |  Biblia



Hos 6: 1-6;                 Ps 51: 3-4, 18-21;                   Lk 18: 9-14




As we approach prayerfully the beautiful season of Lent, God sees the disposition and design with which we come to him. God will reward us accordingly as per the pharisee and the publican in the Gospel. Are our prayers, fasting, and almsgiving during this season, a mere formality or do we genuinely love doing so? Do we genuinely pray or like the Pharisee, are full of ourselves and our own goodness? It is that time of the year when like the publican, we need our hearts to be broken, penitent, and obedient. Let our sinful hearts smite us in a penitent rebuke.


In the First Reading, the Prophet Hosea calls the Israelites to repentance by seeking the Lord by humbling themselves before him. Just like the publican in the Gospel in the hopes of finding mercy in God. The Prophet encourages the people to return to the Lord. Lent is the time to return to the Lord. It is time to return to God through repentance, prayer, and reformation.


God aims that we should be good human beings and live good lives for our own good. The Prophet Hosea writes to us that the power of godliness is the main thing God looks at and requires. Without it, our prayers are of no avail. He makes it clear that like the publican, serious piety in the heart is of more importance than just the performances of devotion, like the Pharisee. This is what even Jesus makes clear – moral duties are preferred before rituals.


Even the responsorial Psalm, one of the most eminent of the penitential Psalms, expresses the cares and desires of a repenting sinner. During this Lenten season, let’s, again and again, pray over this Psalm and ask for God’s mercy to pardon our many sins. Let us find grace in singing this Psalm. In our prayers, let us humble ourselves for our many sins, and like the publican, let our hearts be broken and not our garments!


Response: I desire steadfast love, and not sacrifice.

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