Weekly Message

Rev. Leo M. Goodman III Pastor

Rev. Leo M. Goodman III

October 23, 2016

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

275 Years and still kicking! Please join me for a night of celebration at the Legacy Gala on November 5! Tickets are available after Mass or from the parish office, at 392.2578. Some of the exciting auction Items are listed in this bulletin!

At the beginning of Mass when we use the first form of the  Penitential Act, we say while striking our breast, “through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault…” Why do we do this? The answer is in today’s Gospel. We’re imitating the tax collector, the known sinner, who “stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’” But why imitate him? Read Luke 18:14.

Today we have Jesus’ third and final parable on prayer in Luke’s Gospel, and once again Luke gives us its meaning before giving us the parable. We’re told that “Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else.” In other words, Jesus is speaking to the proud and those whose pride has distorted their vision of others. Let’s be clear about this… pride is a huge sin; it is a root sin. Therefore, we all must battle pride. So Luke doesn’t want us to miss this teaching; it’s essential to discipleship and a relationship with Jesus! In paragraph 2559 of our Catechism, we’re reminded that “humility is the foundation of prayer.” Only when we humbly acknowledge that “we do not know how to pray as we ought, are we ready to receive freely the gift of prayer.” In other words, humility is necessary to enter into a relationship with God. It is only when we acknowledge that God is God and we are not God that we can we have the right posture before God. Pride separates us from God’s embrace, for only the humble person can truly ask for forgiveness. And so the sinful tax collector went home justified, Jesus tells us; whereas the seemingly devout Pharisee was neither justified nor could he truly go home for home is with Him.

This is once more a wonderful example of the reversal of fortunes, of the “first becoming last” and the “last becoming the first.” Or, as Jesus sums it up for us today, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Sirach echoes this cry for humility, “The prayer of the humble pierces the clouds.” With the tax collector and with our humble Lord, let us pierce the heavens with our unceasing prayer. Let us humbly turn to God!

Catechism Question of the Week: What form of justice deals with exchanges between either persons or institutions as opposed to the forms of justice that deal with what a citizen owes the community or the community owes the citizen? A) legal justice, B) distributive justice, C) retributive justice, or D) commutative justice (see CCC 2411-2412)

With family, friends and those you meet, please discuss the following Question of the Week: What would people say if they saw Jesus coming to your house, and how would His visit change you and your family? (CCC 2559)

In Christ’s Peace,

Fr. Leo
Rev. Leo M. Goodman III