“O God, be merciful to me a sinner.”
Today we will be hearing from a very important preacher. It is the same great preacher who preached last Sunday. You might call this man - “The Ultimate Preacher!”
OK, so that was a shameless attempt to get your attention.
Consider the first line of last week’s gospel: Jesus told the disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. Luke 18:1
There’s no doubt that Jesus was a teacher. People called him, “Rabboni” (Rabbi in English) which means teacher But, if you close your eyes as you hear this reading it is not hard to imagine Jesus himself preaching.
Today, we hear another parable found only in Luke’s gospel; The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. Don’t miss the significance of Jesus’ choices of characters. Jesus knows his audience will assume that the Pharisee will be the hero and the tax collector the goat. You and I know better.
The line that echoes in my mind is the humble prayer of the tax collector - O God, be merciful to me a sinner. We will sing similar words in today’s offertory song, ”The Jesus Song” (#406).
This week the church celebrates the Solemnity of All Saints (Friday) and The Commemoration of the Faithful Departed. (Saturday) It begins is a time when we particularly remember those who have died:
- the saints whose names are familiar to many
- the saints whose names are familiar in our own hearts and memories
- those who are still waiting to gain entrance into what John describes as: A new heaven and a new earth, the holy city, a new Jerusalem.
November is a time when the church on earth joins with the first two groups and in praying with greater intensity for the latter or these groups.
Here at St. Mary’s we will begin the All Saints liturgy by praying John Becker’s setting of the Litany of the Saints (#721). We will continue this prayer during communion for each of the Masses this November.
Blest to be in ministry at St. Mary’s,