30th Sunday in Ordinary Tim
I Am So Much Better Than Everyone Else
Written by Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2007 Joan Y. Edwards. www.joanyedwards.com/ All rights reserved.
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Coach Jim of the SJN Soccer Team
2 girl Little Guys
2 boy Little Guys
Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else.
Two people went up to the temple area to pray. One was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.
(The tax collector hangs his head humbly and goes to the front row of seats in the temple. He kneels down and prays. The Pharisee walks in pompously and kneels right behind the tax collector.)
The Pharisee stood up and spoke this prayer to himself.
O God, I
thank you that I am not like the rest of the people in this world. I am not selfish and greedy. I am not dishonest. I do not run around on my wife. I am so thankful that I am not anything
like that tax collector in the seat in front of me. I fast twice a week, and I tithe by
giving one silver coin for every 10 silver coins I earn. I am ever so much
better than anyone else in this temple.
Oh God, I am good.
tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to
heaven. He was humble. He was not
arrogant or boastful.
O God, be merciful to me a sinner.
I tell you, the tax collector went home forgiven and justified, not the Pharisee. If you brag about how much better you are than others, you will be brought down. The one who does not brag and says I do the best I can. There are others who may be better than I am. These humble people will be praised with higher glory.
(Three people carry posters with the words hundreds of years on them across in front of the congregation.)
Now we go forward hundreds of years to Charlotte, NC. The St. John Neumann Church soccer team is practicing for their game next Saturday.
Coach Jim, I am a much better goalie than Daniel could ever hope to be. Why didn’t you let me be goalie?
Remember last week the other team scored three times because you were fixing your hair.
I can run faster than all the others on our team put together. You should put me in as forward. I make more goals than any other person on our team.
Yes, but Burt, you got it past the wrong goal and scored points for the other side.
Remember what Father Russ said on Sunday. He said we should not cut others down. We should not brag about how much better we are than others. God is going to judge us on how we help others.
You are right, Coach. I’m sorry I was acting better than the others on our team. Will you forgive me?
I’m sorry, too.
I forgive you. It’s not just important that you win. It’s also very important that you help others on God’s team as you go. Tomorrow I am taking our whole team to help a team of little guys learn to play soccer.
The next day they taught the little guys how to play soccer. They gave them one-on-one attention in different parts of the field. Then they came together and watched and cheered for them as they played.
(Sarah shows a boy how to protect the goal. Burt shows a girl how to kick the ball into the goal. Karen and Adam teach two a boy and girl how to run and pass the ball from one player to the other.)
Sarah and Burt
That was fun. Thanks for letting us help teach the little guys.
You did a good job and you never bragged once. God will reward you.
The people at St. John Neumann Catholic Church teach others about God and his mercy by being kind to them every day.