Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector – Luke 18:9-14

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March 9 2024: Bible Verse of the Day – Saturday of the Third Week of Lent – The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector – Luke 18:9-14

11 The Pharisee spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity – greedy, dishonest, adulterous – or even like this tax collector.
13 But the tax collector prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’
14 I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” – Luke 18:9-14

Catholic Readings For Today

Saturday of the Third Week of Lent

Today’s Morning Prayer

Today’s Bible Verse of the Day Reflections

In this Gospel passage, Jesus tells a parable to those who trusted in their own righteousness and looked down on others. Two men went up to the temple to pray, a Pharisee and a tax collector.

The Pharisee, known for his religious piety, stood and prayed confidently, thanking God that he was not like other men – extortioners, unjust, adulterers – and boasting about his fasting and tithing.

He exalted himself in his own righteousness, believing he had earned God’s favor through his actions.

On the other hand, the tax collector, a despised figure in society, stood at a distance, beating his breast in humility, and simply cried out, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” He recognized his own unworthiness and pleaded for God’s mercy.

Jesus concludes the parable by saying that it was the tax collector, not the Pharisee, who went home justified before God. He emphasizes that those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

What we must take from this passage is a profound realization of the importance of living in the truth. Those who paint a false image of themselves may fool themselves and may even fool others. 

But they will never fool God and they will never be able to achieve true peace in their soul. We each must realize the humble truth of our sin and weakness and, in that realization, beg for the only remedy – the mercy of God.

The reflection on this Gospel challenges us to examine our own hearts and attitudes. Do we approach God with humility, acknowledging our flaws and relying on His mercy? Or do we fall into the trap of self-righteousness, comparing ourselves favorably to others?

The key lesson is that true righteousness comes from recognizing our need for God’s mercy and approaching Him with a humble and contrite heart.

This Gospel invites us to cultivate a spirit of humility and to avoid the pitfalls of pride and self-righteousness.

It reminds us that our relationship with God is not based on our achievements or comparisons with others but on our acknowledgment of our dependence on His mercy.

As we reflect on this parable, let us strive for a humble and contrite heart in our prayers and actions, seeking God’s mercy and grace in all aspects of our lives.

Also, reflect, today, upon the prayer of this tax collector: “O God, be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13). Make it your prayer. Admit your sin. Acknowledge your need for the mercy of God and allow that mercy to exalt you within the righteousness of God.

Short Story on the Lesson to Learn From Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

Imagine two individuals attending a church service, both facing challenging situations in their lives.

Person A is well-known in the community for their volunteer work, regular attendance at church events, and financial contributions.

This person is respected for their apparent righteousness. When they pray, they might say something like, “Thank you, God, that I am not like those who neglect their duties or fail to contribute to the community.

I fast regularly, attend every church event, and give generously. I am surely deserving of your favor.”

Person B, on the other hand, is struggling with personal issues, feeling unworthy and burdened by mistakes.

This individual may not be as visible in the community and might even be looked down upon by others. When they pray, their words are different: “God, be merciful to me, a sinner. I acknowledge my mistakes and weaknesses. I need your help and guidance to overcome my challenges.”

In the spirit of the Gospel, the lesson here is that God looks at the heart. Despite Person A’s outward displays of righteousness, their attitude reflects pride and a sense of superiority.

Person B, though struggling, approaches God with humility and a genuine recognition of their need for mercy.

The parable challenges us to examine our hearts and attitudes, urging us to avoid self-righteousness and judgment of others.

It calls for humility, recognizing that we are all in need of God’s mercy and grace because we were created each with a different purpose.

Do not despise other people’s situations because you do not know what purpose or outcome God wants from the other person.

Maybe their current situation is God’s wish for them. And as Jesus said to Simon Peter in John 21:21-22, “What if I want him to remain until I come? What concern is it of yours? You follow me.” Jesus meant that do not worry about other people’s destiny, worry about yours, and do what you were created to do.

In our daily lives, we can strive to cultivate a humble spirit, acknowledging our shortcomings and relying on God’s mercy rather than relying on our own perceived righteousness.

Prayer: Lord, Jesus Christ, please be merciful to me, for I am a sinner. I acknowledge my sin and my weakness and I beg for Your abundant mercy. Please pour forth Your mercy and help me to open my heart to all that You wish to bestow. Help me to live in the humble truth, dear Lord. Jesus, I love You. Amen

Catholic Daily Reflections in Pictures

Bible Verse of the Day - The Importance of Humility and Repentance in Prayer - Luke 18:9-14 - The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector
Bible Verse of the Day – The Importance of Humility and Repentance in Prayer – Luke 18:9-14 – The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector

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About Laban Thua Gachie 10725 Articles
The founder of is Laban Thua Gachie. I am a Commissioned Lector, a commissioned Liturgy Minister, and a Commissioned member of the Catholic Men Association. We at Catholic Daily Readings, operate the, a Catholic Church-related website and we pride ourself in providing you, on a daily basis the following; 1. Catholic Daily Mass Readings 2. Reflections on those Daily Readings 3. Daily prayers 4. Bible Verse of the Day 5. Saint of the Day