Today's Gospel reading takes us to the all-knowing aspects of our Lord. The title comes from the first verse (Luke 16:15): "And He said to them (i.e. the Pharisees), 'You are those who justify yourselves before men. But God knows your hearts.'"
The Lord knows how to reach me exactly where I am, doesn't He? I make an error, or I do something which is designed to exact retribution, or I exhibit gluttony, or I gossip - whatever my failing, I attempt to justify it. I do this not only before men, but I do it even before my confessor! "Father, I was angry with so and so, and it happened because he did this - ....."
The ending to that confessed item is irrelevant. What another does to, with, for, or against me has nothing at all to do with my succumbing to temptation and failing to follow the commandments of my Lord. I would be far better off if through tears I simply admitted to my confessor (and therefore to God), "I was angry, and so I did this. I failed, and I am sorry for my failure, for my sin!" The earlier answer is aligned with the positions of the Pharisees throughout the ministry of our Lord. The second is aligned with the heart of the Publican (Luke 18:13), who could not raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his own breast, crying, "God, be merciful to me, a sinner!"
The heart of that Publican - THIS is the heart we are trying, striving to cultivate during these days before the coming of our Lord in the flesh. The recognition that we have failed is the key to turning and seeking the Lord fully. When our hearts are filled with pride, or even with just self-justification, what need do we have of a Savior? In our judgment, we have already justified ourselves. There is no need of One Who will forgive me. I have concluded that I am already pure enough as I am.
God forbid that any of us adopt such a perspective! The Psalmist teaches us the path to the Lord's door. "The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit. A broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise!" (Psalm 51:17)
He is at the door. In this contrite spirit, seeking His mercy and forgiveness, knock - the door will be opened. Since God knows our hearts, seek to purify the heart. "He who loves purity of heart and has grace on his lips, the King will be his friend." (Prov 22:11)
God, be merciful to me, a sinner!
Welcome to Saint Herman's, Hudson, Ohio
This blog is a partial compilation of the messages, texts, readings, and prayers from our small community. We pray that it will be used by our own people, to their edification. And if you happen by and are inclined to read, give the glory to God!
The blog title, "Will He Find Faith on the Earth?" is from Luke 18:8, the "Parable of the Persistent Widow." It overlays the icon of the Last Judgment, an historical event detailed in Matthew Chapter 25, for which we wait as we pray in the Nicean Creed.
We serve the Holy Orthodox cycle of services in contemporary English. Under the omophorion of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph of the Bulgarian Patriarchal Diocese of the USA, Canada and Australia, we worship at 5107 Darrow Road in Hudson, Ohio (44236). If you are in the area, please join us for worship!
Regular services include:
Sunday Divine Liturgy 10AM (Sept 1 - May 31)
930AM (June 1 - Aug 31)
Vespers each Saturday 6PM
We pray that you might join us for as many of these services as possible! We are open, and we welcome inside the Church all visitors. See our Parish web page: