Voices ever ancient, ever new. Sunday-Week30-2013.

“The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity — greedy, dishonest, adulterous — or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.” (Luke 18:11-12)

In commenting on this verse from the Gospel according to Saint Luke from today’s Gospel, Cyril of Alexandria writes:

“What profit is there in fasting twice in the week if it serves only as a pretext for ignorance and vanity and makes you proud, haughty and selfish? You tithe your possessions and boast about it. In another way, you provoke God’s anger by condemning and accusing other people because of this. You are puffed up, although not crowned by the divine decree for righteousness. On the contrary, you heap praises on yourself. He says, “I am not as the rest of humankind.” Moderate yourself, O Pharisee. Put a door and lock on your tongue. You speak to God who knows all things. Wait for the decree of the judge. No one who is skilled in wrestling ever crowns himself. No one also receives the crown from himself but waits for the summons of the referee…. Lower your pride, because arrogance is accursed and hated by God. It is foreign to the mind that fears God. Christ even said, “Do not judge, and you shall not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.” One of his disciples also said, “There is one lawgiver and judge. Why then do you judge your neighbor?” No one who is in good health ridicules one who is sick for being laid up and bedridden. He is rather afraid, for perhaps he may become the victim of similar sufferings. A person in battle, because another has fallen, does not praise himself for having escaped from misfortune. The weakness of others is not a suitable subject for praise for those who are in health.” (Commentary on Luke, Homily 120)”

Almighty ever-living God,
increase our faith, hope and charity,
and make us love what you command,
so that we may merit what you promise.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to You Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen!