Nobody is impressed with a person who tales credit for another person’s work. It is even more galling when a person is claiming to have done something, or in the case of salvation, claiming that they will do something that by definition we know is impossible! Only Christ can save us from our sins. We may be able to work hard at living holy lives, and so we should, but it does not matter how many good works we perform through our own strength, none of them individually nor all of them collectively can save us! The forgiveness of our sins and the offer of eternal life is a free gift offered to us by God.

 

The Pharisee in today’s Gospel needs a reality check! He may be a very good man, but he certainly has a lot to learn about humility and probably salvation as well. Nobody likes people who are always ready to boast of their achievements – such actions are normally the sign of a very poor self-image. However, we are usually very ready to listen to and work with someone who has a good grasp on reality and his or her own strengths and weaknesses. Such people are a pleasure to work with as they realize that they have both gifts to offer others and the need to rely on others to help them cover their areas of weakness. These people are great team players.

 

Whether we like it or not when it comes to salvation we all need to be team players as none of us can save ourselves. We all need the help of Christ – in fact, he is the main player in this work. Our ‘job’ so to speak is to receive the gift he offers and to live all the accompanying blessings to the full in order to attract more people to Christ. There is nothing degrading in admitting that we need help for some aspects of our lives. Actually, being ready and willing enough to do so is a great sign of humility and maturity, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually speaking.

 

Am I a team player or am I always seeking to achieve goals on my own? Do I think less of an achievement if others help me to get it?

 

Holy Spirit, help me to open my heart more fully to your work and grace in my life. Never allow me to grow so proud that I refuse your help in anything.