"…for whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted." (Luke 18:14)
In today's Gospel, Jesus shows us the difference between the Pharisee who lauded himself while despising everyone else, and the the contrite tax collector who would not even raise his head due to the weight and burden of his sins. Begging for mercy, this tax collector humbled himself before the Lord. Looking to where God resides in his heart and beating on its door, he recognizes God's true role - to welcome and love the honest and contrite heart, to generously dispense mercy, and to justify us in a way we could never merit on our own.