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Saturday, March 24, 2001

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Hosea 6:1-6
Psalm 51
Luke 18:9-14

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honest to god

"Your piety is like a morning cloud." —Hosea 6:4

Not only is "honesty the best policy," it is the only policy acceptable to the Lord. The Israelites prayed a poetic, prophetic prayer of conversion and healing (Hos 6:1-3). There is hardly a  more beautiful prayer in the Bible or in other religious traditions. However, they prayed with insincerity. The Lord's reaction to this prayer was: "What can I do with you?" (Hos 6:4) The Israelites' piety was "like a morning cloud, like the dew that early passes away" (Hos 6:4). If we are not honest in our prayers, we displease the Lord.

If we are not honest in our communication with the Lord, we are probably not honest about our relationship with Him. The Pharisee in today's Gospel reading thought that he was right with God because he seemed better than other people and was faithful in his religious observances (Lk 18:11-12). However, the Pharisee was not being honest with God and with himself both in prayer and about his relationship with the Lord.

How honest are you in prayer? Does your life indicate that you really want God's name to be hallowed, His kingdom to come, and His will to be done? (Mt 6:9-10) When you receive Jesus in Holy Communion, have you abandoned your life to Him to be in communion? Do you live your prayers or merely "say your prayers"? Honesty is God's policy for prayer, life, and love.

Prayer:  "O God, be merciful to me, a sinner" (Lk 18:13).

Promise:  "This man went home from the temple justified but the other did not. For everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled while he who humbles himself shall be exalted." —Lk 18:14

Praise:  For many years, David faithfully worshipped Jesus in Eucharistic adoration on Saturday mornings at 2AM. After suffering from terminal cancer, David was brought to eternal life by Jesus at that same hour, Saturday morning at 2AM. "Precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of His faithful ones" (Ps 116:15).

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, August 9, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 18, 2000