Gleanings from Orthodox Christian Authors and the Holy Fathers

sunday_of_the_publican_and_pharisee

5 Entries

And as with regard to raiment and gold, when we expose them in a market-place, we attract many ill-meaning persons; but if we put them by at home and hide them, we shall deposit them all in security: even so with respect to our good deeds; if we are continually keeping them in memory, we provoke the Lord, we arm the enemy, we invite him to steal them away; but if no one know of them, besides Him who alone ought to know, they will lie in safety.

Be not therefore for ever parading them, lest some one should take them away. As was the case with the Pharisee, for bearing them about upon his lips; whence also the devil caught them away. And yet it was with thanksgiving he made mention of them, and referred the whole to God. But not even did this suffice Him. For it is not thanksgiving to revile others, to be vainglorious before many, to exalt one's self against them that have offended. Rather, if thou art giving thanks to God, be content with Him only, and publish it not unto men, neither condemn thy neighbor; for this is not thanksgiving. St John Chrysostom, HOMILY III., MATT. I. 1



And just as a ship, after having run through innumerable surges, and having escaped many storms, then in the very mouth of the harbor having been dashed against some rock, loses the whole treasure which is stowed away in her — so truly did this Pharisee, after having undergone the labors of the fasting, and of all the rest of his virtue, since he did not master his tongue, in the very harbor underwent shipwreck of his cargo. For the going home from prayer, whence he ought to have derived gain, having rather been so greatly damaged, is nothing else than undergoing shipwreck in harbor. Chrysostom, Homily concerning lowliness of mind, commentary on Philippians (a reference to the Publican & Pharisee)

Boastful I am, and hard-hearted, all in vain and for nothing. Condemn me not with the Pharisee, but rather grant me the humility of the Publican, O only merciful and just Judge, and number me with him. the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete

Make account that thou hast done nothing, and then thou hast done all. For if, being sinners, when we account ourselves to be what we are, we become righteous, as indeed the Publican did; how much more, when being righteous we account ourselves to be sinners. St John Chrysostom, HOMILY III., MATT. I. 1

Our virtue, therefore, must not be contaminated with fault, but must be single minded and blameless, and free from all that can bring reproach. For what profit is there in fasting twice in the week, if thy so doing serve only as a pretext for ignorance and vanity, and make thee supercilious and haughty, and selfish? St. Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on the Gospel of St. Luke (Reading for Sunday of Publican and Pharisee)





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