Sunday, October 23, 2022
Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
St. Augustine Catholic Church
Dear Church Family,
The theme of today’s readings centers on being concerned about the welfare of our neighbors and focusing less on ourselves. Jesus used very harsh words on hypocrisy and hypocrites, on people who were accustomed to drawing attention to themselves. I certainly want to be like that tax collector, what I really mean is, I want to have a clean heart, a humble spirit, going to my God with a clean spirit recognizing my sinfulness. Certainly, we don’t want to be like the Pharisees, with their undue attention to the external cleanness of vessels and other objects, while neglecting inner cleanness and higher values or anyone who is haughty or self-centered and proud in a bad sense.
The traits of both the Pharisee and the tax collector could stand for persons of any age, including our own. It behooves the human person, us, in any stage and at any age, to be lowly and humble in God’s presence, aware of our own human weaknesses and the weaknesses of human nature, as well as being aware of the All-Holiness of God, who understands and is concerned for all his creatures.
So again, we pray, “Give me a clean heart, O Lord, and I will serve you.” This attitude brings us to the attitude of St. Paul in his second letter to Timothy (4:6-8) where he says not only to Timothy but to all of us, “I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance.” Certainly, when one reviews his or her life, it is good to say that ‘I have fought the good fight and won the race and there is a merited crown for me’ but you are the one that blesses us, dear Lord. So, then we will be sensitive to anyone who needs our love and our caring and our time. Amen! Alleluia!!