Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee

Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee
The rest of the story, How was the publican justified?

Today is the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee. It is a formal beginning to our preparation for the Holy Fast, and is the first day we read anything from the Triodion this year. We are now in a period of time to prepare ourselves – 4 more weeks. … There is not much more time, and this time is given for us to reflect upon what it is that we need to do to improve ourselves.

The church gives us some help here. The Sunday before this day is always the Sunday of Zacchaeus, who was a publican. Today, we read about another publican, just a nameless person in a parable. This event never actually occurred; it is a parable our Lord used to teach us. However, it has extra meaning when we think of it in light of the story of Zacchaeus, and in our mind’s eye, equate the publican in this parable with Zacchaeus.

In this parable we see two kinds of humility – or rather, humility and its evil opposite, pride – and two kinds of knowledge. We see the pride of the Pharisee, and the church in its hymnology points out the differences between his pride and the humility of the publican. In order to fully understand the lesson we must see that the Pharisee was not completely wrong and the publican was not completely virtuous, and yet, one of them was justified and the other was not. …

ROCOR Sts. Peter & Paul parish in Leogane was totally destroyed in the earthquake.

Fr. Matthew Williams informed us that the church building of our ROCOR Sts. Peter & Paul parish in Leogane was totally destroyed in the earthquake. He also visited the parish in Jacmel. The situation there is not too bad.

If any of our clergy would consider going to Haiti to help with pastoral care for a three-week stay, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) has a training program and would welcome our help. …