This year in the Roman Catholic Church is the Year of Mercy. When we talk about mercy, we are talking about the gift of mercy that we are given from Jesus.
Mercy is the gift, that, although we are sinners, we are blessed with a special favor from God. The favor is the favor of having our sins forgiven, not because of anything we do, but because God's mercy is given to us as a gift, as a present.
In the gospel today, Jesus tells a parable. A Pharisee and a tax collector are praying in the temple. The Pharisee tells God some of the good things he does and that he doesn't sin like everyone else. The tax collector simply says, "O God, be merciful to me a sinner."
Jesus tells us that the tax collector was justified, not the Pharisee. This is because the tax collector was sorry for his sins and went to God seeking forgiveness, asking for God's mercy.
During this Year of Mercy, let's celebrate this gift we have received from God. We can do this by asking God's forgiveness of our sins and by attending the sacrament of Reconciliation. God our Father is all-loving and all-forgiving. Let's celebrate that in this Year of Mercy.
Sincerely in Christ,