Daily Bible Reading - March 9, 2024

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Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.

3RD WEEK OF LENT

Psalter: Week 3 / (Violet)

St. Frances of Rome, religious

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 51: 3-4, 18-19, 20-21ab: It is mercy I desire, and not sacrifice.

1st Reading: Hosea 6: 1-6

Come, let us return to Yahweh.

He who shattered us to pieces, will heal us as well; he has struck us down, but he will bind up our wounds.

Two days later he will bring us back to life; on the third day, he will raise us up, and we shall live in his presence.

Let us strive to know Yahweh.

His coming is as certain as the dawn; his judgment will burst forth like the light; he will come to us as showers come, like spring rain that waters the earth.

O Ephraim, what shall I do with you?

O Judah, how shall I deal with you?

This love of yours is like morning mist, like morning dew that quickly disappears.

This is why I smote you through the prophets and have slain you by the words of my mouth.

For it is love that I desire, not sacrifice; it is knowledge of God, not burnt offerings.

Gospel: Luke 18: 9-14

Jesus told another parable to some people, fully convinced of their own righteousness, who looked down on others: “Two men went up to the temple to pray; one was a Pharisee, and the other a tax collector.

The Pharisee stood by himself, and said, ‘I thank you, God, that I am not like other people, grasping, crooked, adulterous, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and give a tenth of all my income to the temple.’

In the meantime the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, a sinner.’

I tell you, when this man went back to his house, he had been reconciled with God, but not the other.

For whoever makes himself out to be great will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be raised up.”

REFLECTION:

“Be merciful to me, a sinner.”

It is not good to presume that we are saved while indifferent to other people’s situation. It is worse when we think that we are the only ones who practice the demands of righteousness while judging others by our self-righteous standard. It will be worst when we think that God agrees with us when we judge other people as wretched sinners while thinking that we are holy.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus told the parable of the Pharisee and the tax-collector. While the Pharisee thanked God that he is not like the sinful tax-collector, the tax-collector recognized his sinfulness.

We are all sinners. We are all in need of God’s saving grace. Salvation is something that we basically received than something that we earn. It is not by our own merit. The fact that we received salvation from God should keep us humble.

In our faith journey, there are times when we are tempted to become too self-elated, ending up as self-righteous individuals who judge everyone else.

Lent is a season that invites us not to look at others’ weaknesses but to do self-introspection that will enable us to pray with the repentant tax-collector: “O God, be merciful to me, a sinner.”

CLARETIAN COMMUNICATIONS FOUNDATION, INC.

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