Sermon on the 33rd Sunday after Pentecost [2012]


 My Beloved,

Today’s Gospel [Luke 18, 10-14] is about us!

About us, those who have a good opinion about ourselves…and, from that cause, we are proud and we look down on others [Luke 18, 9].

But today’s parable is a medicine for our callousness…and must be regarded as such.

A medicine at the beginning of preparation for the Great Lent.

Because whatever we have done so far…does not entitle us to be evil and contemptuous of others. On the contrary, the holy life understands infirmities of others…and do not condemn them with arrogance.

For what the Lord wanted to tell through the person of pharisee was this: that you can live religiously…but not be religious in the true sense.

That we can be, unfortunately, only some people that understand from outside the relation with God…and we are not full of God’s communion and His goodness.

For if we are of God, how but we judge things so coarse? And how can we claim communion with God and obedience to Him, if our first instinct is to justify us before Him?

The pharisee has turned his prayer in contemplation of his own narcissism. But the publican, in counterweight, has not tried to lie to himself and, from this motive, he said: „God, be merciful to me, the sinner!” [v. 13].

The Pharisee does not lie in the moment in that he exhibits his good works.

But the good works are not for to brag of them!…

The good works are those that keep us human, we keep the heart alive…and therefore they are not the motives for vanity.

On the other hand, nor lack of good deeds of the publican is not a good thing. He justified for himself not because he was a sinner…but because he wanted God’s mercy.

And here the Lord corrects on both persons and, through the intermedium of them, on all of us.

Because we do not have to be proud for our spiritual life and nor to despise on those who sin.

Sensibility, attention, compassion are interior attributes of godliness. They are as clear testimony that we do not focus on us…but we are centered in God.

Namely we are with God and from His perspective we look the interior of ourselves and the interior of others.

Why now this Gospel?

Because our fast must be authentic. Our fast must be full of attention at personal sins.

And if in time what we fast, we see our sins…and we descend in humility due of this saving view…then our fast justifies us.

But what are the motives for that we lift with the mind? What makes us so sure of ourselves?

Today’s Gospel tells us that there is no reason to be proud…because we are all sinners.

Only looking wrongly the things we can conclude that we sit well in matter ofholiness.

For holiness is never much what we do.

Therefore we are called to take at the end with purity, with holiness. Because Holy God wants us Saints always, not occasionally.

And for this we must descend from the good opinion of ourselves…in station of the correct vision of self. Amen!

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