Daily Prayer Reflection: Do we recognize our need for God?

Those who see me in the street run far away from me. I am likea dead man, forgotten, like a thing thrown away. But as for me, I trust in your, Lord, I say: "You are my God. Let your face shine on your servant. Save me in your love." Psalm 31: 13, 15, 17

The tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to him, but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." Luke 15:1-2

Ahh, the Pharisees...always missing the meaning in the moment, lost in their own righteousness. If we are honest, we have a lot of moments like them too, whether we choose to acknowledge it or not. The sinners and tax collectors (could there be a more unworthy bunch?) were all rapt with attention listening to Jesus, this man who actually gave them the time of day. Yet the Pharisees came only to judge, with no effort to listen to his teaching until it was pointedly directed at them. Even still, Jesus has reminded the Pharisees before that those who are well are not in need of a physician, yet, the lesson has not sunk in. This time, Jesus tells them that the Lord rejoices more over the repentance of one sinner than the existence of many righteous who have no need of repentance (or think they have no need of repentance).

In contrast, the Psalmist is quite clear of his own dire condition. "I am like a dead man..." He knows his own weakness. Even in that weakness, though, his trust remains in God and the ability and desire of the Lord to save us, if only from ourselves.

Today, let us ask ourselves if we are more like the Pharisees or the Psalmist. Let us pray that in true humility we might always see our need for God and find our strength in Christ. Amen.