HOMILY OF SATURDAY OF THE 3RD WEEK IN LENT
Hosea 5:15-6:6, Luke 18:9-14
QUOTE: “The simplest way to fall from grace is to judge our spiritual progress by other people’s individual efforts.”
The daily responses to God’s constant call for a closer walk with him is a sign of our journey back home to God. His search light that leads us to Him can never grow dim. We pray that our spiritual antenna may be constantly positioned so we can easily pick his signal when his divine light shines upon us.
In today’s’ first reading he calls,
“They will search for me in their misery. Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces, but he will heal us; he has struck us down, but he will bandage our wounds; after a day or two he will bring us back to life, on the third day he will raise us and we shall live in his presence”
Living without God is like groping in the dark. There is nothing that can substitute his place in our lives. No matter what we do in this world, God cannot be a second option. He said he desires love and not sacrifice. Any good thing we do that does not draw attention to God is baseless. That is why we must always judge all our actions by his standards. Even the virtues that we practice are not within our power. We live by God’s grace. That is what the pharisee in today’s gospel did not understand when he began to compare himself with the tax collector. He said, “I thank you, God, that I am not grasping, unjust, adulterous like the rest of mankind, and particularly that I am not like this tax collector here. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes on all I get.”
The simplest way to fall from grace is to judge our spiritual progress by other people’s individual efforts . If we judge ourselves by God’s values, we will have nothing to be proud of. Rather, we will always see reasons to return to him to be redeemed. Recognizing the Lord after catching the great shoal of fish, Peter exclaimed, “Go away from me, because I’m a sinful man, Lord!” Luke 5:8. When he realized how close he was with the divine, he saw his unworthiness.
It’s right to say that, we see ourselves as unfit when we are either far away or closer to God. Far away, we are unclean, closer to him, we see how unclean we are. Fortunately, by his redeeming light we are cleansed. My dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, let us humbly cling to the Lord. Though unworthy, he loves us. and he will surely make us whole.
May his redeeming grace always be upon us. Amen.