Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee

2 Timothy 3:10-15
Luke 18:10-14

Nothing begins without the desire to see Jesus and when we truly see Him, then and only then are we able to see ourselves. This is the second step in our approach to Great Lent and Pascha and the theme of the Second prelenten Sunday.
The Gospel reading for this Sunday is taken from Luke 28:10-14. Two men went to the temple to pray. The pharisee was actually a very religious man. He fasted, prayed, and gave away ten percent of his goods. Yet he boasted about his accomplishment and, as a result, his prayers were rejected by God. The publican on the other hand, was truly evil, a genuine sinner. He sought to make a change in his life, however, by confessing his sinfulness and begging God for mercy. Consequently, he was justified and accepted by God.
Like the pharisee, we to are filled with pride and boastfulness; unlike the publican, we often refuse to acknowledge our sinfulness, confess it, and beg for mercy.
On this Sunday we are invited to take a deeper look inward, to search the depths of our souls and to beg for mercy. We are called, through our vision of Jesus, to acknowledge our sins and to fall before the face of God in repentance, making the publican’s prayer our own: “God be merciful to me a sinner.”

Adapted from “Pre-Lenten Sundays”

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