30C19. Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18. “God hears the cry of the oppressed,” the orphan, the widow, the lowly and of those who serve him. Those who feel a need for God and who recognize that only God can give them what they need and desires to help those call upon him in their need, he will judge as being just and right.
Luke 18:9-14. The Pharisee implies that he is better than the rest of humanity because he, and he himself only, makes himself better than the rest of humanity. He knows what to do and gets the job done on his own without the help of anyone, not even God. The tax collector, on the other hand, recognizes he needs God because without God he falls short of what God wants him to do and be; and so, he has become a sinner. Jesus finishes this parable saying, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” Humility requires of us to recognize that only with God’s help can we become holy and just. Only with God actively working for us in our lives can we reach heaven. Those who delude themselves in thinking that they can reach heaven without God will end up in hell.
2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18. Paul is confident that he will go to heaven because he knows that day after day he did God’s will and worked with the strength that God had given him to promote the belief that Jesus is the Savior of the world. He especially recognized the strength of the presence of God when he was being threatened with death for his preaching. Paul finishes by writing: “The Lord will rescue from every evil threat and will bring me safe to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen.”