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O Lord Jesus Christ, Son Of God, Have Mercy Upon Me A Sinner

Homily 10 27 2013
30th Sunday OT - C

Homily 10 27 2013
30th Sunday OT - C

View the Readings for this day

The Parable of the Publican and the Pharisee is so important in the spiritual life of Christians that the prayer of the Publican has become the second phrase of what we call the JESUS PRAYER which has been recited especially in Eastern Churches: O LORD JESUS CHRIST, SON OF GOD, HAVE MERCY UPON ME A SINNER.


There's a tale from Spain from the Islamic tradition that reveals this same spirituality.

One day the King passed a beggar on the road. The King pulled a gold coin from his purse and gave it to Sancho the beggar. The King smiled and said, "This is for you, Senor. May God bless you! NO one had ever called Sancho, SENOR.

When the King's party departed, Sancho followed on foot along with the other servants. In weeks ahead, he took every opportunity to serve the King and the King grew accustomed to poor Sancho and years passed and Sancho was drawn into the circle of the King's advisers. He now swore fine clothes.

There was another adviser, Lord Alphonso, who brought his complaints before God. OH Good God, in Heaven. I pray. I fast. I give generously to the poor. I thank you that I am not like this beggar who has weaseled his way into the heart of the King.

This Alphonso noticed that Sancho would frequently enter a small locked room, near the servants quarters and he said to the King: Sancho secretly enters a locked room every morning in the lower quarters and is hiding something there. Demand that he show you what is in the room!

The next day the King and Alphonso watched as Sancho again went to the room and when he stepped out Alphsonso shouted, "What are you hiding in that room?"

Sancho began to weep and resisted letting the King know what he had hidden.

The King grew angry and finally Sancho knelt in front of the King and said, "You may enter, but alone. You must never tell what you see. ---

The room was almost empty except for a small pillow on the floor, where someone might sit in prayer and meditation. And in front of the pillow: a patched woolen cloak, a crooked walking stick, and a cracked clay bowl.

The King recognized the objects from his first meeting with Sancho, bowed his head and wept. Drying his eyes, the King softly called for Sancho, and asked, "What is the meaning of this?" "MY KING" I come here daily to remind myself of my origins as an outcast. Every-thing I have I owe to your goodness. I feel that I myself belong to you. All I own are these memories of what I once was -- a poor beggar without your compassion and mercy."

As we listened to the other readings today, Sirach expresses the deep anguish of the beggar before God as well. And Paul echoes the theme of faithfulness to the King when he writes: I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.

In the story Sancho recalls his past in prayer, and his relationship to the King. He has not forgotten where he came from. And he has not forgotten that all he has, he owes to the beloved King.

We too like Sancho are admonished to pray, to fast and do goods secretly in the presence of God.

Whenever we step into someone's private prayer life we experience his or her goodness and spiritual truth, we feel that we have stepped on holy ground.

We are invited today to be like the Publican and also in the story, like Sancho whose prayers of the heart is: O GOD BE MERCIFUL TO ME A SINNER.

I hope that this sacred story helps each of us discover our call for we have heard something very special and are bound to the intimacy of its message.

The beggar is our tutor and guide.

Truly we are all in need. Let us never lose sight of that, whether we are giving or receiving. Sometimes, I think we give not because we are full, but because we know what emptiness feels like.

We give not because we have the answers , but because the world around us provokes so many questions. We give not because money is a solution to the world's problems, but because our faith tells us that true wealth is not owned but shared; not personal but collective.

In the midst of the stewardship season, and with the holidays fast approaching, let us be generous with our time. Let us be generous with our resources. And most fundamentally, let us be generous with each other, as each of us navigates our own reasons for giving.


Home Homilies Homily 10 27 2013

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Mass Schedule

Saint Aloysius
Tue - Fri - 8:30am
Sat - 5:00pm
Sun - 10:30am

Holy Days
8:30am & 7:00pm

First Friday
8:30am followed by Adoration until 7:55pm

- After weekday Mass
- Before Sat & Sun Mass
- Mon - 3:00pm

Sat - 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Or by appointment

Our Lady Of Lourdes
Sun - 8:30am

Before Sunday Mass

Find Us

Saint Aloysius
211 West Mason Ave.
Buckley, WA 98321
Phone: 360-829-6515
Fax: 360-829-5190
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Office Hours
Tue - Fri 9am - 12:00pm

Our Lady Of Lourdes
506 Ash Street
Wilkeson, WA 98396
Phone: 360-829-6515
Fax: 360-829-5190
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