THIRTIETH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME, YEAR C
23rd October 2022
Ecclesiasticus 35:12-14, 16-19; 2 Timothy 4:6-8,16-18; Luke 18:9-14.
Today’s Eucharistic celebration presents us with readings on the right attitude to prayer. The emphasis is on humility in prayer. The first reading from the book of Ecclesiasticus said: The humble man’s prayer pierces the clouds. Let us compare the two prayers found in the second reading and the gospel to discover why the humble persons prayer is attractive to God.
In the second reading from the second letter of St. Paul to Timothy, St. Paul expressed in a prayerful manner the submission of his life in fidelity to the gospel. According to him: I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith; all there is to come now is the crown of righteousness reserved for me, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that Day; and not only to me but to all those who have longed for his Appearing. In this humble prayer, he recognized that God alone rewards our fidelity to the gospel. Also he appreciated the fact that he was protected by the grace of God in his missionary service.
In today’s gospel according to Luke chapter eighteen, a pharisee and a tax collector went into the temple to pray. The tax collector submitted in humility for his lack of fidelity, while the Pharisee stood before God in self-praise. He prayed to himself: “I thank you, God, that I am not grasping, unjust, adulterous like the rest of mankind, and particularly that I am not like this tax collector here. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes on all I get.” The gospel passage made it clear that, the tax collector went home again at rights with God; the Pharisee did not. Humility in prayer is founded on the acknowledgement of God’s grace in our lives. It is the unmerited favour of grace that humbles us before God. St. Paul captured humility in prayer in his letter to the Philippians saying, I can do all things in him who strengthens me.
Fr Anthony Ekpunobi, CM.