Roc Homily (b) – Thirtieth Sunday Ordinary Time 2016
How does the gospel of Luke characterize the Pharisee?
Better, what is there about the Pharisee that can help me see myself in order to help me pray with less pretense?
Luke 18:9 (NRSV) — 9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt… 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’
- Why do I promote my innocence/righteousness while regarding others with contempt?
- Why do I regularly compare myself with others to their detriment?
- Why don’t I see that what I accuse others of is true about me?
- When I pray, do I actually address God, or like the Pharisee, pray to myself?
- Why do I do the small religious things and avoid the greater ones (mercy & justice of God)?
1. To exhort; take refuge in; to be convinced; believe/trust
Psalm 135:16–18 — 16 They [idols] have mouths, but they do not speak; they have eyes, but they do not see; 17 they have ears, but they do not hear, and there is no breath in their mouths. 18 Those who make them and all who trust them shall become like them.
Habakkuk 2:18 — 18 What use is an idol once its maker has shaped it— a cast image, a teacher of lies? For its maker trusts in what has been made, though the product is only an idol that cannot speak!
Isaiah 42:17f — 17 They shall be turned back and utterly put to shame— those who trust in carved images, who say to cast images, “You are our gods.” 18 Listen, you that are deaf; and you that are blind, look up and see!
Isaiah 47:8f — 8 Now therefore hear this, you lover of pleasures, who sit securely, who say in your heart, “I am, and there is no one besides me; I shall not sit as a widow or know the loss of children”— 9 both these things shall come upon you in a moment, in one day: the loss of children and widowhood shall come upon you in full measure, in spite of your many sorceries and the great power of your enchantments.
1 & 2. To disdain, scorn; to set at naught
Luke 23:11 — 11 Even Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him; then he put an elegant robe on him, and sent him back to Pilate.
Acts 4:11 — 11 This Jesus is ‘the stone that was rejected [held in contempt] by you, the builders; it has become the cornerstone.’
3. Righteous, right; innocent
Luke 18:9 — 9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt:
Luke 23:47 — 47 When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said, “Certainly this man was innocent.”
4, To pray
Luke 11:1f — 1 He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” 2 He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come.
Luke 20:47 — 47 They [scribes] devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
Isaiah 44:17f — 17 The rest of it he makes into a god, his idol, bows down to it and worships it; he prays to it and says, “Save me, for you are my god!” 18 They do not know, nor do they comprehend; for their eyes are shut, so that they cannot see, and their minds as well, so that they cannot understand.
3 & 5. Rogue; unrighteous, unjust, false
Luke 18:10f — 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues [unrighteous], adulterers, or even like this tax collector.
Luke 16:10f ) — 10 “Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much. 11 If then you have not been faithful with the dishonest wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?
5. To tithe
Luke 11:42 (NRSV) — 42 “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and herbs of all kinds, and neglect justice and the love of God; it is these you ought to have practiced, without neglecting the others.