30th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday, October 27, 2019
Fr Kyle
Homily transcription: 

Today I am going to basically debunk my homily from last week.  Okay, not totally.  But this weekend’s readings help to round out what is meant by being utterly dependent on God. 

First, everything the pharisee says is true.  By all the standards at that time, including the standards of Jesus’ faith, he was honestly trying to live a good and righteous life.  And, based on what he says, he is actually doing a pretty good job.  It is not that the Pharisee’s prayer is untrue.  It is rather that his prayer misses the point.  His prayer is not so much about thanking God as much as it is about himself. 

The tax collector, on the other hand, seems humble.  However, the gospel says that stands at a distance (as sinners are supposed to do), beats his breast and does not even raise his eyes to God because he is too overwhelmed by his sin.  I might suggest that the tax collector is not so much humble as he is desperate.  And this desperation causes him to be totally dependent on God. 

I think we have something to learn from the Pharisee and the tax collector.  The Pharisee shows us an honest effort to live a righteous and good life.  It is possible for us to live excellence and virtue.  The problem is when we become too focused on our own efforts.  The tax collector shows us utter recognition of sin.  The problem comes when we begin to lose hope because of our sin and weakness.  Christ is calling us not to despair but to depend.  It is not an either/or sort of thing.  It is a both/and.  We both honestly strive to live excellence and virtue in life AND at the same time humble ourselves to depend on God.    


We literally see this in the liturgy every weekend.  In a few moments, we will bring forward our gifts to the altar.  Not only to bring bread and wine in a physical way, but in a spiritual way we bring the gifts of our hearts.  BUT, as we bring these gifts we totally leave them at the altar and entrust them to God.  As we prepare to celebrate this Eucharistic transformation at the altar, may we also experience a transformation in our lives.  May we recognize and strive to make our lives a great gift, and then leave them in the hands of God and utterly depend on His love and goodness.