“The prayer of the lowly pierces the clouds…"
We all experience times when we feel unworthy, alone, or hopeless, but the comforting words of today’s Scripture assure us that our humble cry for God’s help pierces the clouds of heaven. The Lord is close to the lowly, the brokenhearted; so close that He hears every beat of our heart and every whispered prayer.
The message of Divine Mercy is enfolded in the story of the tax collector and the Pharisee. God sees our hearts, none of us perfect, and desires our repentance. God surely loves the Pharisee as much as he loves the repentant tax collector, but as Pope Benedict XVI wrote in his book Jesus of Nazareth:
“The Pharisee does not really look at God at all, but only at himself; he does not really need God, because he does everything right by himself. He has no real relation to God, who is ultimately superfluous – what he does himself is enough. Man makes himself righteous.”
“The tax collector, by contrast,” Pope Benedict continues, “sees himself in the light of God. He has looked toward God, and in the process his eyes have been opened to see himself… He knows that he needs mercy and so he will learn from God’s mercy to become merciful himself, and thereby to become like God… he will always need the gift of goodness, of forgiveness, but in receiving it he will always learn to pass the gift on to others. The grace for which he prays does not dispense him from ethics. It is what makes him truly good in the first place. He needs God, and because he recognizes that, he begins through God’s goodness to become good himself.”
When we repent of our sins from the heart, God’s mercy knows no limits. Trust in God, humbly ask for His mercy, and pass the precious gift of forgiveness on to others.