This Is The Word Of The Lord
Sunday October 27th, 2013
St. Luke first appears in the Acts at Troas where he meets St Paul and, after the vision, crossed over with him to Europe as an Evangelist.
He was a physician and a companion of Paul on some of his missionary journeys, and unlike the other Apostles, Luke was not of the Hebrew faith. He is called a painter by Nicephorus Callistus (fourteenth century), and by the Menology of Basil II, A.D. 980. A picture of the Virgin in S. Maria Maggiore, Rome, is ascribed to him.
St. Luke its always represented by the calf or ox, the sacrificial animal, because his Gospel begins with the account of Zachary, the priest, the father of John the Baptist.
Today’s Gospel Reading
Luke 18:9-14 NIV
The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector in the Temple
To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
“I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.“
What Does Luke Mean?
A common teaching theme that Luke refers to frequently, are the parables that Jesus used to teach a truth in a way that it could be easily understood. And it is no different in this parable in which Jesus strives to teach the concept of righteousness to those who are with Him.
In this parable, the behavior of the Pharisees is once again being chastised. The Pharisees were famous for making a display of their faith and by employing ceremonies. But such displays of public show are not pleasing if the heart does not share the same attitude. And it is common knowledge that the Pharisees thought many beneath them and as much, not worthy of their attention, and often their disdain caused others to dislike them, as well.
Like the Pharisees, Tax Collectors, who represented the pocketbook of Rome, were also disliked by many. However, in this parable, Christ points out that even when we behave or do something that is contrary to what is respected by the whole, if we acknowledge our sin, and ask “Have mercy on me..”, that God will be merciful and forgive. It is what is contained within the heart that marks the person we are.
To keep the law is to make many offerings; whoever observes the commandments sacrifices a peace offering. By works of charity one offers fine flour, and one who gives alms presents a sacrifice of praise.To refrain from evil pleases the Lord, and to avoid injustice is atonement. Do not appear before the Lord empty-handed, for all that you offer is in fulfillment of the precepts. The offering of the just enriches the altar: a sweet odor before the Most High. The sacrifice of the just is accepted, never to be forgotten. With a generous spirit pay homage to the Lord, and do not spare your freewill gifts. With each contribution show a cheerful countenance, and pay your tithes in a spirit of joy. Give to the Most High as he has given to you, generously, according your means. For he is a God who always repays and will give back to you sevenfold. But offer no bribes; these he does not accept! Do not trust in sacrifice of the fruits of extortion, For he is a God of justice who shows no partiality. He shows no partiality to the weak but hears the grievance of the oppressed. He does not forsake the cry of the orphan, nor the widow when she pours out her complaint. Do not the tears that stream down her cheek cry out against the one that causes them to fall? Those who serve God to please him are accepted; their petition reaches the clouds. The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds; it does not rest till it reaches its goal; Nor will it withdraw till the Most High responds, judges justly and affirms the right. God indeed will not delay, and like a warrior, will not be still; Till he breaks the backs of the merciless and wreaks vengeance upon the nations; Till he destroys the scepter of the proud, and cuts off the staff of the wicked; Till he requites everyone according to their deeds, and repays them according to their thoughts; Till he defends the cause of his people, and makes them glad by his salvation. Welcome is his mercy in time of distress as rain clouds in time of drought.
Today my baby boy…..all 6’6″ of him…..turns 34. I am incredibly proud of the man he has become and I love him very much! Happy Birthday Danny!
Danny and Melissa Bruscella
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