- Sunday October 23: Praying: Relating to God – and Each Other
- Last week, the quotation from Thomas Keating reminded us that “the way of pure faith is to preserve … without comparing ourselves to others.” Today’s Gospel is often discussed in terms of comparing the Pharisee with the tax collector. This reflection offers a less traditional interpretation of the parable. How does this interpretation sit with you? Simply be with any emotions or sensations you are experiencing, perhaps practicing the Welcoming Prayer if desired.
- For this week, you may wish to take the following Scripture as your active prayer: “The Lord is a God of justice, who knows no favorites” (Sirach 35:12). Or simply, “God knows no favorites.” What is revealed?
You may read the full email reflection here: https://mailchi.mp/coutreach/word-of-the-week-oct23
Sunday October 23: Praying: Relating to God — and Each Other
“Perhaps the teaching is acknowledging that any ‘us versus them’ contradicts the generousness and inclusiveness of God’s love.” A.J. Levine embraces God who loves both tax collector, Pharisee and me as beloved. No distinctions, just love from the Eternal Wellspring. “All in all” implies we, too, are include. “They” merge into “us” over time and with much prayer. “God would like to see through our eyes and have us see through God’s eyes toward one another in love.” Geoffrey Butcher sums they morphing to us. When we are called to love, our work is sometimes difficult – my eyes need God’s lens to see clearly. May it be so. <3 linda
Hello, These readings just now hit me like a ton of bricks. The Pharisee in me is berating the tax collector in me for having these problems that only ignorant , low life people have. Part of it is because I have bought into cultural stereotypes: “people who have ____as a problem are at fault for not doing ____. “ “people who have ____happen to them are to blame because only ___people have that problem. “ Because ——told me this will bring untold suffering and I won’t be able to successfully deal with it, I believe that judgment. Who are they that I allow them to put such things in my head?
it seems to me that what is inside, is outside, what is local, is universal. What is valuable is what God values, what God tells me in scripture, in cp, in welcoming prayer, in guard of the heart….every single day.
I can’t reserve judgment of the other until I release the harsh judgment of myself within.
This realization makes me feel like I just worked 12 hours carting rocks from one place to another!
Oh ,yes, I am making an intention this week to see everyone as whole and complete, as they are. I was imagining people at mass today , that part of what I saw was missing . That I couldn’t see them as they fully are as God sees them.
Maybe what God saw in the Pharisee and in the publican were their reality , not what “people thought”.
What a humbling new slant on this parable! I admit to siding with the tax collector against the Pharisee, which means, then, that I am saying, “Thank God I am not like this Pharisee – judgmental, self-righteous, proud.” It has never occurred to me that this is choosing sides, excluding one and labeling it unworthy of God’s love.
I once read something by Sister Simone Campbell who wrote that when she prays for those who are marginalized or discriminated against, she also must pray for those who commit the marginalization or discrimination. If she doesn’t, she is no different from them. Both sides are loved by a God whose love is deeper than I can fathom.
Again I say – ouch. This touched me deeply.
Blessings to all.
” No matter how hard we try, we cannot seem to get God to respect our boundaries.” This morning awakening, slowly, from the edge of consciousness, a movement from dreaming into the Welcoming Prayer to full consciousness into praying it, I feel another step further liberating me from a rigid boundary I set these many years ago. So much “covid speak” in me and around me. This morning at the sign of peace I found myself enveloping with God’s Love ” all those difficult people” now, asking God to erase from not only my vocabulary “difficult people” but renewing my consenting to the Great Ambusher’s LOVE gentle blasting away my rigid boundary; that I may, too, be gentle.
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