Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else.” This opening sentence from today’s Gospel introduces the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector. By the startling contrast in the attitude of the two men, our Lord presents us with a simple truth: we must always approach God with a humble attitude. It will do us no good to attempt to justify ourselves before God, for He knows us as we truly are. Although we can sometimes fool others, we can never fool God. The necessity of humbly acknowledging our sins is especially important when we approach God in the Sacrament of Penance. As a minister of that Sacrament, I am often overwhelmed by the expressions of contrition made by penitents – many times accompanied with tears. One of the reasons why this Sacrament is celebrated privately is so that such an encounter with the merciful Lord might not be hindered by the presence of others. Again, St. Luke presents the profound teachings and parables of Jesus which express the mercy of our God. What a great moment of grace to be able to open ourselves to the Father through His Son; for each one of us to say as the repentant tax collector said, “O God, be merciful to me a sinner!”
Last Sunday I showed the “Inspired by the Spirit” Capital Campaign video. Over the next several weeks you will be getting more information about the campaign. Our parish goal is $435,000, of which 65% is returned to our parish for our own needs: funding a new roof on our church and improvements in the church hall (basement). 35% goes for Diocesan needs, including funding the Diocesan Annual Appeal (for this year only), needed capital improvements to the Holy Cross Diocesan Center in La Crosse (a substantial portion for Christ the King Chapel), and establishing the new Catholic Foundation for West Central Wisconsin. Please pray for the success of the “Inspired by the Spirit” Campaign in our parish and the whole diocese.
May God bless you!