This week we hear Jesus tell a parable about a pharisee and a tax collector praying next to each other in the temple. The pharisee prays loudly, thanking God for how great he is and how much better he is than other people. The tax collector, meanwhile, asks God for help in his life, recognizing that he has hurt others and himself through his actions. In telling this story Jesus admonishes his followers to recognize, with courage and vulnerability, their shared humanity and the ways they still want to grow, change, and transform. The pharisee believes he is perfect and doesn't need to grow anymore, but Jesus knows that there is nothing more human than suffering, growing, and changing. He shows here the way that the pharisees belief in his own superiority disconnects him from his own humanity and the other people in his community. The very community he is meant to lead, love, support, and be supported by. The tax collector, meanwhile, in recognizing his suffering and his yearning for change connects deeply with is humanity and his community. This week pay attention to the ways you are feeling superior. How is this disconnecting you from yourself and your community? What is it revealing about kind of transformation you desire for yourself?
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