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Homily Notes: 30th Sunday Year C

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On Friday of last week Cardinal Griffin held a spirituality inset day for the Staff governors and the Catholic primary feeder schools. The speaker who had been invited was John Pridmore, a former gangster turned evangelist, who spends his time talking about his story to schools and parishes.

He lives in Ireland now but travels internationally, with a message of conversion to Jesus Christ, who is the sole fulfiller of every dream and expectation we can have for life.  He has had a colourful life and a dramatic conversion story to share. What is obvious from listening to John is that the person of Christ has revealed himself to his heart, and the good news is that God is merciful! I was struck by the authentic nature of John’s words. He talked the talk because he was willing to walk the walk. He reminded me of one of the men that we come across in the gospel today. Lord be merciful to me a sinner, is the prayer of the humble, who know their need of God, and his goodness and mercy.

Prayer is about an attitude. The prayer of the Pharisee was one that contained no humility. It was an empty, arrogant prayer, reminding us that everyone can pray, but not everyone can pray with humility. The Pharisee thanks God that he is not like the rest of mankind, he is faithful to the rules of his religious observance but has no love. Here he reminds us that everyone can observe a religious practice but not everyone adds love to this observance, and without love, religious observance is just lip service and self serving.

The Pharisee stands at the front and adopts a posture of prayer letting anyone watching see how devout he his. He has no humility, no love and his posture is to attract admiration from men, but alas his posture is an empty one with no meaning. The other man stands at some distance not raising his eyes, he knows he is a sinner and his only requirement from God is mercy. He went home at rights with God.

The first reading gives us a clue as to the nature of God who is ever attentive to the cry of the poor, to the prayer of the humble. God is for justice, he knows the heart; he sees the truth of our lives. We cannot hide behind religious observance, ticking the boxes, but having no love; going through the motions, paying lip service to faith these are a waste of time. Only a deep conversion to the person of Christ, to the goodness and mercy of God, will make our faith authentic and a witness for others.  

God knows the heart. He is close to the broken hearted, he hears the prayers of the humble.



Source: http://humblepiety.blogspot.com/2013/10/homily-notes-30th-sunday-year-c.html



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