Today’s readings remind us that the Lord is a judge that we can trust. In the First Reading Sirach reminds us that the Lord is completely impartial and hears every “case” that is presented to him in prayer, even when earthly justice fails. When we pray, we stand before Our Lord and judge. In today’s Second Reading Paul faces earthly injustice alone, but he is not discouraged, because he knows that the just Judge is with him and that even if, at the end of his life, he suffers at the hands of injustice, the Lord will ultimately give him the justice he deserves.
In today’s Gospel the Pharisee decides to become the judge of himself and others and shows his flaws. He judges the Publican praying nearby, and he also judges himself just, even though Our Lord confirms that he is not, probably due to his selfishness, arrogance, and lack of charity. The Publican knows he faces a just Judge in his prayer, which is why he rightly laments his faults, but he also knows that he faces a merciful Judge and throws himself upon the mercy of the “court.” Whenever we pray we stand before the just Judge who has shown us mercy and continues to do so.
Let’s thank Our Lord today for being not only a just Judge, but a merciful one as well, and let’s show our gratitude by evaluating others with justice and mercy.
Readings: Sirach 35:12–14, 16–18; Psalm 34:2–3, 17–19, 23; 2 Timothy 4:6–8, 16–18; Luke 18:9–14. See also 3rd Week of Lent, Saturday.