Jesus addressed this parable
to those who were convinced of their own righteousness
and despised everyone else.
"Two people went up to the temple area to pray;
one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.
The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself,
'O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity—
greedy, dishonest, adulterous ( or even like this tax collector.
I fast twice a week,
and I pay tithes on my whole income.'
But the tax collector stood off at a distance
and would not even raise his eyes to heaven
but beat his breast and prayed,
'O God, be merciful to me a sinner.'
I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former;
for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled,
and the one who humbles himself will be exalted."
Dear Father we are not perfect and our lives have blemishes. You call us to love our neighbor so we will not be any better nor less than the others but equal in your eyes. The world we live in is so diverse yet so many exalt themselves while many live humbly for you. Teach us to pray as the sinner in the parable where we also pray, O God, be merciful to us for we are sinners. Amen