The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
We all have fallen short of God’s holiness and thus sinned in some form or the other. We do not merit a relationship with God. These are things we aught to understand. But in a proper perspective.
The ideas at play in this Scripture text are humility, gratitude and the proper understanding of who we are. If we do not have Gratitude and Humility, we will not acknowledge our short comings and thus not open our hearts to God. Because only when we know that we have short comings, then we will turn to God and open ourselves to him, else we will in a way, not be aware of God. Only those who know they are sick, go to a doctor. And those who benefit from the Doctor’s treatment are grateful and willing to listen to his guidance.
But remember we are called Sons/Daughters of God, and thus we aught to know the type of relationship a child has with his Father. And it is not one of Master and servant. Remember last Saturday’s Gospel Reading of the Prodigal Son. The feast was to illustrate to us that God does not treat us as servants, but precious parts of himself. That is why the Father Celebrated his Son’s return. This Son who had lost his identity and become defiled with all sorts of wrong things, needed to understand what it meant to be the Son of the Father.
We too must understand this. As God’s children, we need to discover ourselves, put aside whatever robs us of our identity as God’s Children and share in the Life of God. A servant can never truly enjoy a free and full life, only a Son can really do so. So as sons we must approach God each day and wash away what ever defiles us and recommit ourselves to God. But in doing this never loose sight of that fact that even you fail, and just as God gives you the life-line, so too be gentle, lenient and tolerating of those who fail, around you, even be kind to them. How you treat them, is how you will be treated.