It is 14th March 2015. The readings are from Hos.6:1-6 and the Gospel from Lk 18:9-14. The first reading invites us to have a true type of penance and a sincere returning to the Lord. “Come, let us return to the Lord. God has torn us to pieces, but God will heal us; God has struck us down, but God will bandage our wounds.” (Hos.6:1). God is interested in our true repentance not pretention. God wants us not only to change the tune of the liturgy but also the tone of our hearts. God wishes love and acknowledgements not sacrifices and holocausts. “What I want is love, not sacrifice; knowledge of God, not holocausts.” (Hos.6:6). The responsorial psalm repeats, “What I want is love, not sacrifice.” The Gospel presents two persons in front of God. A self-righteous Pharisee and a humble Tax collector. Pharisee went to the temple to advertise himself and how good he was but not to pray. While Tax collector begged for mercy from God for his sins. “God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” (Lk.18:12). The attitude of Pharisee was dangerous because it did not have love and acknowledgement of God. Pharisee was too proud about what he was doing to God rather what God could do to him. Tax collector has become the example for true repentance. Tax collector’s prayer and attitude to God must be ours too because we all need God’s mercy and forgiveness. Let us love and acknowledge God during this Lent and God will continue to bless us.

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