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The parable Jesus offers in today’s gospel tells us of the tax collector who, in his humble awareness of his need for God, is pleasing in the eyes of the Lord – and of the proud Pharisee who is not.
The Pharisee can see only the sinful shortcomings of others, rather than his own, and this is perhaps a trap into which we can all fall on occasion. It is sometimes easier to think, ‘I thank you, Lord, that I am not like…’ than it is to really listen to and understand another person.
The culture of encounter, which Pope Francis challenges us to embrace, requires the humility of the tax collector. We are invited to leave our comfort zones and, enriched by our differences, engage deeply with others.
So, in the coming weeks, let us try to be truly open to others and see all those we encounter as they really are – precious and beloved by God. May these encounters inspire us to work together to make a difference in our own lives and in the lives of others.
send us your spirit of encounter.
Enable us to recognise your presence in each person,
to see the world as you do
and love it with your love.
Join one of our online events to hear more about our work and listen to different perspectives.