March 21: Saturday of the Third Week of Lent

Christian Dare, The Pharisee and the Tax Collector

Readings for Mass
First Reading: Hosea 6:1-6
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 51:3-4, 18-19, 20-21
Gospel: Luke 18:9-14

All who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted (NRSV, Lk 18:14b).”

Let us pray.

Father, the life which you share with us, and in which we are called to grow at every moment, makes us to be divine beings in you, capable of constant increase. Alone of all your earthly creatures we share in the ability to love because, as long as we accept the gift, the Holy Spirit who is Love abides in us. In union with your Word, we are empowered to share in the ongoing formation of the world with the ability to soar to the heights in the creation of great art and music. As companions of your Word who is always present to every one of us, your Word through whom you set in motion and sustain everything that is, we too can utter great works of spoken and written speechcraft. So great is the power that is ours that death, Father, can be for us, as it was for Jesus our brother, an hour of glory, not the unconquerable enemy but a passage to a still greater life.What a glorious existence to which you have called us, Lord, that we alone may raise our heads above all of your earthly creatures in singing your praise.

But how we must be grateful to you, Father, because in the midst of all of this glory which we enjoy, none of it has its origin in us. Of ourselves we are nothing. Everything we are, everything we do, everything we have, it all comes from you. And in the midst of all these gifts, so often, Lord, we turn away from you in sin. We act as if we are center of all things when in reality we are nothing without you. And when we sin, when we turn away from you as if you did not even exist, when we heap abuse upon sister and brother, you, Lord, never abandon us. In your great love, you always maintain your presence with us through your Word, challenging us, pleading with us to accept your forgiveness. Such is your love that no payment is ever required for our waywardness, merely the acceptance of forgiveness and the renewal of your life within us.

How great you are, Father, to call us over and over again, not only out of the nothingness of non-being, but then out of the nothingness of sin. In all the glory of the summons to share in divinity, may we be ever mindful of the nonbeing from which we come and, without the constant presence of Your Word, into which we would return.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen

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