Saturday, March 17

Luke 18:1-17

Justice for the faithful

18 Jesus was telling them a parable about their need to pray continuously and not to be discouraged. 2 He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected people. 3  In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him, asking, ‘Give me justice in this case against my adversary.’ 4  For a while he refused but finally said to himself, I don’t fear God or respect people, 5  but I will give this widow justice because she keeps bothering me. Otherwise, there will be no end to her coming here and embarrassing me.” 6 The Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7  Won’t God provide justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night? Will he be slow to help them? 8  I tell you, he will give them justice quickly. But when the Human One comes, will he find faithfulness on earth?”

The Pharisee and the tax collector

 The Pharisee and the Publican (Le pharisien et le publicain) by James Tissot, 1886-94, Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, Brooklyn Museum

The Pharisee and the Publican (Le pharisien et le publicain) by James Tissot, 1886-94, Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, Brooklyn Museum

9 Jesus told this parable to certain people who had convinced themselves that they were righteous and who looked on everyone else with disgust: 10 “Two people went up to the temple to pray. One was a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11  The Pharisee stood and prayed about himself with these words, ‘God, I thank you that I’m not like everyone else—crooks, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12  I fast twice a week. I give a tenth of everything I receive.’ 13  But the tax collector stood at a distance. He wouldn’t even lift his eyes to look toward heaven. Rather, he struck his chest and said, ‘God, show mercy to me, a sinner.’ 14  I tell you, this person went down to his home justified rather than the Pharisee. All who lift themselves up will be brought low, and those who make themselves low will be lifted up.”

Jesus blesses children

15 People were bringing babies to Jesus so that he would bless them. When the disciples saw this, they scolded them. 16 Then Jesus called them to him and said, “Allow the children to come to me. Don’t forbid them, because God’s kingdom belongs to people like these children. 17  I assure you that whoever doesn’t welcome God’s kingdom like a child will never enter it.”

Meg Wagner