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What a humbling new slant on this parable! I admit to siding with the tax collector against the Pharisee, which means, then, that I am saying, “Thank God I am not like this Pharisee – judgmental, self-righteous, proud.” It has never occurred to me that this is choosing sides, excluding one and labeling it unworthy of God’s love.
I once read something by Sister Simone Campbell who wrote that when she prays for those who are marginalized or discriminated against, she also must pray for those who commit the marginalization or discrimination. If she doesn’t, she is no different from them. Both sides are loved by a God whose love is deeper than I can fathom.
Again I say – ouch. This touched me deeply.
Blessings to all.