Reflection for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time, October 23, 2022

By Sr Celeste Wobeter, ND

 In reflecting on this Sunday’s readings, I hear a call to examine my prayer.  “Our God hears the cry of the poor” is the psalm response.  From the Book of Sirach we hear “God is a God of justice,” and “The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds.”  In the Gospel Jesus offers a challenging story about the Pharisee and the tax collector.

When is my prayer like that of the Pharisee?  Do I pray as if I am better than the people around me?  Do I brag to God about the many good things I do?  The Pharisee perhaps did do many good things, yet he boasts about himself rather than thanking God for his blessings.

We, too, can ask when is our prayer like that of the tax collector?  He prayed from his heart in humility and asked God, “Be merciful to me a sinner.”  He came open, vulnerable, and unassumingly.

What is our call today as we reflect on our prayer?

  • Do I come humbly, open, aware of my reliance on God for all I have and need?
  • Do I come with a stance of gratitude for my many blessings?
  • Do I recognize my total dependence on God?

Perhaps we can find a model of prayer from Mary’s Magnificat:

My soul proclaims your greatness, O God, . . . . for You the Almighty, have done great things for me, and holy is Your Name.