March 18, 2023

“The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity…” (Luke 18:11)

The Pharisee, even though he seems to be addressing God, “spoke this prayer to himself.” He was taking the name of the Lord in vain, literally and figuratively. In vain, to no end, since it was not God whom he addressed. And, in vain, full of vanity, utterly full of himself.

When Jesus compares the prayer of the Pharisee with that of the Tax Collector, he invites us to take an honest look within.

When have we been like the Pharisee?

When has our “prayer” not been prayer?

Prayer is a raising of our minds and hearts to God. If we are going to raise our minds and hearts, it means we begin from a place that is low.

“But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’” (Luke 18:13)

I have a close relationship with my children. We talk and joke around about many things. Now and then, when they get carried away and talk to me like they are talking to one of their friends, I have to remind them who they are speaking to. I am their mother, not their friend. Though marked by familiarity and intimacy, our relationship still requires a proper order for the relationship to be what it is meant to be.

Our God is so close to us. We address him as Father; we consume him in the Eucharist. Yet, he is God… and we are not. Let us always remember this as we look up. Behold the Lamb of God!

Let us pray:

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.


Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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About Ivonne Hernandez

Ivonne is an Associate of the Blessed Sacrament at St Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Holiday, Florida.