Homily Thirtieth Sunday Year C Humility

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Homily Thirtieth Sunday Year C

Reading 1: The main themes in this reading are:
                   1. God shows no partiality; the weak and oppressed he will hear.
                   2. The one who serves God willingly is heard.
                   3. The prayer of the humble God will respond to.
                   4. To the proud and the conceited he will give them justice.
                   5. To the humble and repentant one he will show mercy.

If we want our prayers to be heard effectively, then we need to recognize our sinfulness before God and repent. It says that a humble and contrite heart God will hear and answer with his love and mercy.

Gospel: Luke’s Gospel is a gospel of contradictions. He contrasts those who are righteous in their own eyes, namely the Pharisees, the adherents of the Law, versus those who are unrighteous in the eyes of Pharisees, namely the public sinners: the tax collectors and adulterers. In other places he contrasts the Jews and the Samaritans, the rich and the poor.

Here Luke contrasts a Pharisee and a tax collector. The Pharisee proudly stands before God touting his own horn about how good he is and not like the tax collector. He is expecting the Lord to reward him for his good works and his faithfulness to the Law. In his mind, he justly deserves it and has earned it. On the other hand, the tax collector recognizes his life of sin. On his knees he pleads for God’s mercy, not his justice.

Based on the first reading who was heard by the Lord? It is easy to compare ourselves with others, or to proud ourselves at the expense of others. But before God we are all sinners in need of his mercy, no matter how many good deeds we have done.  God knows the heart of each person and judges us accordingly. The proud he humbles; the humble he raises up.

Reading 2: Paul is at the end of his life. He reflects on his journey and acknowledges that he has fought hard in defending the faith, first by keeping the faith and secondly, by sharing the faith. He knows in faith that God in his mercy will reward him for his fidelity. Then he acknowledges how God has been his defense, providing and protecting him on his journey.

He had been abandoned by those he had hope would have defended him in the times of his difficulties. Only God stood by him and gave him strength to endure and continue to proclaim the truth to the Gentiles. Thus, his confidence was in God who would bring his life to completion. He humbly acknowledges the mercy and grace of God as the source of any good he had accomplished.

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