The Tax Collector & The Pharisee

In this weekend’s Gospel, Jesus is pushing us to true humility. We hear a parable of the Pharisee and tax collector going into the temple and how they spoke in prayer. This parable is challenging for us because we may think, “I am like that tax collector and humble,” and in our minds and hearts judge ourselves and others. But aren’t we all the Pharisee at times? We want to live our lives as finished, polished products. We are uncomfortable when things are messy and broken. We don’t want others to see that side of us, so we keep it hidden. Have you ever wondered what is going on inside someone? We may guess, but that too is being judgmental. Many of us would be surprised if we had the ability to be in someone else’s shoes. To our surprise, we may find our own brokenness, fears, and hardships. This is what we are being challenged to do today! We are challenged to not look at the outside and make conclusions or judgements but hold a curiosity about each other and how alike we are in our sinfulness, brokenness, and woundedness. Let us not only show the polished side to others, but also the messy side that we want to keep hidden. Maybe it would help someone else, let alone ourselves!