February 22, 2024     2:36 pm
60. Week of Third Sunday after Epiphany - Wednesday
Pharisee and the publican
          This man went down to his house justified.   Luke 18:14
          Who went down to his house justified? Who had forgiveness of sins? Who was absolved and pronounced entirely free and rid of all his sins? Who thus had the righteousness of God,- who?
          Jesus spoke the following parable to certain men who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray, the one a Pharisee and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself: "God, I thank You that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off would not lift up so much as his eyes to heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying: "God be merciful to me, a sinner."- In conclusion Jesus added: "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone that exalts himself shall be abased; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted." (Luke I8:9-14.)
          Now you know who is justified: not he that parades his own righteousness before God, despising others and exalting himself. No, his own righteousness is as filthy rags; in these no man can stand before God. And whoever means to boast of them before God shall be abased, rejected, damned. He is justified, he always was and always shall be justified, that humbles himself, acknowledges his sins, knows that he is an abomination to God, but looks to Christ and, quickened by the Holy Spirit through the Gospel, imploringly says: God, for Christ's sake be reconciled to me, a sinner; be merciful to me, a sinner! Thus the worst sinner is justified before God and exalted to the heart of God. And this is the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
          PRAYER: - Righteous God, merciful Father, in whose sight nothing in all the world is of value except only the blood and death of Your beloved Son, whereby You have established eternal righteousness for all mankind, You that hate all that trust in their own works: I give thanks for Your great mercy and heartily beseech You graciously to keep me from unbelief, pride, and arrogance, as well as from despair and other vices, lest my prayer become an abomination before You, but rather grant that I may take true comfort in the merit of Your dear Son, and honour Him by leading a Christian life: through the same Your dear Son Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

First Part : Festival Season
February 22, 2024     2:36 pm