Page 52 - Lent2012v3b

Basic HTML Version

Lent Weekday
Hosea 6:1-6
Psalm 51:3-4, 18-19, 20-21AB
Luke 18:9-14
In today˅s gospel reading Jesus recounts a parable about the righteousness and humility
of two Jews. One is a Pharisee, a religious sect known for their strict observance of rit-
ual, piety, purity and tithing, and the second is a tax collector, despised
and considered
a traitor and a thief
We must examine the events of this parable against the background of ancient biblical
laws and traditions.
The name Pharisee means ˈseparated onesˉ in Hebrew because they separated them-
selves from those they thought were religiously unclean. A Pharisee˅s ˈlegalˉ
ness was declared by Jewish law. But, instead of a devoutly humble and grateful atti-
tude, the Pharisee arrogantly separates
himself from the rest of humanity since he
is above them. His prayers convey an atti-
tude of condescension.
The Pharisee
righteous and humble, but out-
wardly he appears to be.
Tax collectors represent an especially
despicable part of Roman rule and op-
pression. The tax collector admits that he
is "a sinner" and calls on God for mercy.
He hangs his head in shame and beats his
breast, so timid that he is not worthy of
even a fleeting look at heaven. He pleads
for forgiveness and mercy. His righteous-
ness is a gift from God
. ˈFor you are not
pleased with sacrifices;
My sacrifice, oh
God, is a contrite spirit.ˉ Ps51:18a91a
Christ Giving His Blessing, 1478 Hans Memling
Netherlandish, c.1430/40-1494 Oil on oak panel
comp: 14-3/8 x 10-1/2 in. (36.5 x 26.7 cm); panel: 15-1/8
x 11-1/8 in. (38.4 x 28.3 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation, Gift of Mr. Norton Simon