Thought of the day
Sunday, October 23, 2016

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C

Commentary of the day Saint Bernard (1091-1153), Cistercian monk and doctor of the Church Sermon 3 on the Annunciation, 9-10



Commentary of the day 
Saint Bernard (1091-1153), Cistercian monk and doctor of the Church 
Sermon 3 on the Annunciation, 9-10
"The publican...would not even raise his eyes to heaven"

What is that container into which grace chooses to pour itself? If trust has been made to receive mercy and patience to garner justice, what is the vessel we might put forward as apt to receive grace? A very pure ointment is concerned here, which requires a very sturdy container. Now what is more pure or more sturdy than humility of heart? That is why God “gives grace to the humble,” (Jas 4,6; cf Prv 3,34; Jb 22,29); that is why it is entirely right he should have “looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness,” (Lk 1,48). Right, because a humble heart does not allow itself to be preoccupied by human worth and because the fullness of grace can be poured  into it all the more freely…

Did you observe the Pharisee at prayer? He was neither thief, nor dishonest, nor an adulterer. Nor did he neglect to do penance. He fasted twice a week, he gave tithes of all he possessed… But he was not empty of himself; he had not stripped himself of himself (Phil 2,7); he was not humble but, rather, puffed up. That is to say, he was unconcerned to know what it was he still lacked but overestimated his worth; he was not full but puffed up. And so he went away empty for having put on a show of being full. The publican, on the other hand, because he humbled himself and took care to present himself like an empty vessel, could carry away with him an even more abundant grace.