Prayer – O Lord, fill me with light that I would see my sinfulness.
Imagination Picture Jesus with His disciples)
The two men, both arrive at the hour of prayer (either 9:00AM or 3:00PM). Three aspects mark the Pharisee – his prominent position, the sins he has avoided and his good deeds which go beyond what is prescribed. In contrast, the tax collector stands at a distance, is considered a robber (by respectable people) and recounts no good deeds. He strikes his heart (the source of all sin). His prayers and actions actually show a total helplessness of ever correcting his life. The parable is spoken to the religiously self-confident.
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Daily Quote from the Early Church Fathers
“Driven out of paradise by You and exiled in a distant land, I cannot return by myself unless You, O Lord, come to meet me in my wandering. My return is based on hope in your mercy during all of my earthly life. My only hope, the only source of confidence, and the only solid promise is your mercy.” (Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 A.D., excerpt from Commentary on Psalm 24,5)