by Sister Madonna Swintkoske
The Gospel for this Sunday is a story of two individuals, a Pharisee and a tax collector, who went to the temple to pray. There was a difference in their prayer. The difference was in their attitude and in their focus.
The Pharisee was focused on himself. God was not the center of his prayer. He reminded God of all that he (the Pharisee) did for God. "I fast twice a week and I pay tithes on my whole income." He forgot that God's love is the source of all. He did not need to be pious and devout and loving to win God's love. He was to be pious, devout and loving because God already loved him.
The tax collector understood this. He left the initiative to God. "Have mercy on me." It all starts with God and the love God has for all of us.
Chapter 34, US Catholic Catechism for Adults
You shall not covet your
by Sister Mary Kabat
The Tenth Commandment - You shall not covet your neighbor's
goods - completes the Ninth Commandment by focusing on the
intentions of the heart. While we all need to acquire earthly goods
for the care and well-being of ourselves and our families, there
are forces that motivate us to become overly attached to money and
possessions. Greed and envy can become rooted in our
hearts. The desire for what another has or to have more and
more possessions becomes our life goal.
Living the Tenth Commandment brings us to trust in the providence of God. In the Beatitudes, Jesus tells us that poverty of spirit enables us to inherit the Kingdom of God. The commandment calls us to a healthy detachment from material things and a generosity of heart. It enables us to adopt a simplicity of life, a love for the poor, a care for creation and a witness to justice and peace in the world.
Sister Madonna, you are so good because God is so good. Thanks for reminding me about God's iniative.