Jesus extols the humility of the one who admits being a sinner, and can accept the implications of that admission. This is the kind of prayer that is described in the reading from Sirach and the Psalm response. It is those who can admit that they are needy who turn to God in that need. It is those who trust that God will be their strength in the face of their weaknesses who are strengthened. Paul’s own prayer demonstrates the attitudes that should be ours as we pray. Like the Pharisee, he acknowledges his success. He has competed well; he has finished the course; he has kept the faith. However, unlike the Pharisee, he acknowledges that God is the source of any good he has been able to accomplish. The Lord stood by him and gave him strength. If there is any glory, it belongs to God. Paul’s confident prayer springs from a humble heart.