Fr. John continues to expand on the themes of the Gospel of Luke to be persistent in prayer, what prayer ought to be like, and what our disposition in prayer should be. We see how the comparison between the Pharisee’s prayer and the tax collector’s prayer speak to their different postures when approaching the Lord. In today’s time, the Pharisee could be seen as a “Good Catholic”, one who thinks that they are doing everything moral and upright because that’s what it takes to get to heaven. The tax collector is someone who knows that they are a sinner and they are helpless without God. God knows that there is nothing that we can do to earn His grace, and so he does not want us to “do everything right” but to recognize our state, who we are, and our need for mercy. We can try to do better, incorporate virtue, but recognize it is God’s operation first, God’s movement in our lives that moves us forward and upward towards perfection. Jesus’ time spent with sinners shows how he did not have time to spend with people who didn’t think they were sinners. If there is no “space” for God to fill, then he cannot fill it, so we need to open our hearts in need of God’s mercy.
October 26, 2019