It is the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee. Time to look at Pride and humility. Time to get ready for that time that we spend getting ready.
So, . . a tax collector and a Pharisee walk into a temple. . .
The phrase that leaps out to me this year is a warning in the words of the Pharisee.
“O Lord, I thank Thee…” and words of madness, as we will hear St. Andrew declare to us in just a few weeks.
Who are those people for us? For the Pharisee it was the Publican
O Lord I thank Thee that I am not like that Publican.
Who do we hold as people we might thank God we are not like?
We could reverse it: “O Lord, I thank Thee that I am not like that Pharisee.”
We could find some person to look down on: “O Lord, I thank Thee that I am not like that homeless man.”
We could ascribe it to our enemies: “O Lord, I thank Thee that I am not like that bad person.”
We could choose a supervisor, a fellow-worker, a politician,
We can even choose a member of the clergy: “O Lord, I thank Thee that I am not like that priest/bishop/preacher/deacon.”
Whoever we pick, it is pride, deadly pride.
For whatever person we might choose, we have to own that the very things that annoy us to no end are in someway within us, and we are just as capable of doing and being that person we may thank God we are not.
O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner.