Watch your pride. Do not judge your neighbor.

When was the last time you asked Jesus for something? Maybe when we committed some sin that gnawed at our conscience. Let us not despise the sinner, but let us not love his sin. “Because they thought they were righteous and despised others, he spoke this parable” (Luke 18:9).

This parable is intended precisely for the Pharisees. To each of us. The Pharisees belonged to the higher group of people who had a great influence on the social situation in the country, and thus had a certain position in society. And this could lead them to exalt themselves above others. They often abused this position to their advantage. There are two people in the parable. The first, which represents the Pharisee, thinks he is righteous. Let us notice his prayer. In it, he describes himself, what he will do, and what he can renounce. By doing so, he points out to himself how perfect he is. What he claims is true, but that truth is from his point of view. In the prayer, he begins to point out the publican and his bad qualities. Toll collectors are nowadays employees of the tax office. The parable also features a tax collector who is aware of his sinfulness and regrets what he has done in his heart.

Will you agree that even today there are such Pharisees and publicans among us?! They are. And it may even happen that I am a Pharisee. Let’s try now, each of us inside, to consider which category I would fit into, a tax collector or a Pharisee?! I pray daily, I go to church regularly, and I go to confession every first Friday, maybe even more often, when I go to confession, I say to myself “I don’t have such serious sins, I pray the rosary every day, maybe some devotions, I read the Holy Scriptures I didn’t hurt, I don’t steal, I don’t cheat, I try to get along with everyone on good terms”….etc., simply – I’m not that bad, I live a spiritual life. So I probably won’t be a Pharisee.

How many times do I catch myself talking about others, but not in the good, but in the bad, and especially about his bad qualities? I notice who goes to church, how he dresses, how he behaves, whether he goes to communion, how he lives in a family, whether he argues with his wife, maybe he gets drunk, overpays, cheats on his wife, or a man’s wife, can’t get a job,… ..etc. And right here can be the problem that Jesus points to and that problem is pride. The same as the Pharisees. “I tell you, this one went home justified and not that one.” That is, the publican was justified and not the Pharisee. St. Paul writes to the Corinthians: “Therefore let him who thinks he stands to take heed lest he fall. ” This means if I think that I am managing to lead a spiritual life anyway, and I do not commit as many sins as others, I should thank God for this grace that He gives me. St. Peter and James state in their letters: ” God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” That means pride is an obstacle. 

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