Sunday, October 27, 2013

God is Mercy

"The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, 'O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity--greedy, dishonest, adulterous--or even like this tax collector.
I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.'
But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, 'O God, be merciful to me a sinner.'" (Luke 18:11-13)
Interesting that only a few verses after this Gospel reading, verse 19, Jesus says -  "Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone."
Both of the men in this gospel are sinners. But only one admits it. Only one tells the truth. Only one is real.
The tax collector has the right idea. He knew he was a sinner and he asked for God's mercy, knowing God's mercy is bigger than any sin.
The Pharisee is more interested in comparing himself to the tax collector and others. He evidently feels superior. He may have many gifts but he is taking credit for them rather than thanking God for them. He too is a sinner but does not seem to recognize it.
When we know we are sinners, we stop comparing ourselves to others. We stop judging others. When we trust in God's love, then we are able to throw ourselves at his feet, asking for His mercy, confident that it will be given to us.
"You may call God love, you may call God goodness, but the best name for God is compassion." - Meister Eckhart
Lord, have mercy on me. Help me to be real. And help me to be confident in your loving mercy. Amen.

1st published Oct 2010


Daily Grace said...

I love the quote by Meister Eckhart. It goes perfectly with the thoughts you have shared here. Thank you Colleen.

Michael said...

Lovely post. The other mistake the Pharisee made is that he judged others. Judgement is for God alone.

God Bless you!

Colleen said...

Daily Grace, thank you! I love that quote too.

Michael, yes I agree! Thanks and God bless.

Michael Seagriff said...


You are right.We sinners would do well to stop comparing ourselves to others and reflect on this astonishing Truth: Jesus died for us while we were still sinners. That Truth ought to jar us our of any complacency or false sense of superiority we may hold.

Great post. Thank you!

Colleen said...

Michael, I guess we need to be reminded from time to time! thank you!