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Putting aside our pride, let us approach God in a spirit of humility like the Publican in Jesus’ parable, at The Good Shepherd Orthodox Church this Sunday.
Divine Liturgy — 10:00 am
Join us in celebrating the Divine Liturgy on this fourth Sunday before Lent.
Let us not pray, brethren, Pharisee-like; for he who exalts himself will be humbled. So let us humble ourselves before God, crying by means of fasting, with the voice of the publican, saying: “God forgive us sinners.”
When the Pharisee went down with empty glory, and the publican bowed himself in repentance, they came to You alone, O Master. But the one through boasting lost his reward, and the other by his silence deserved gifts. Therefore by those sighs confirm me, O Christ God, since You are the Lover of mankind.
Having known, O my soul, the difference between the Pharisee and the Publican, loathe the tone of the braggart, and emulate this one’s true prayer of reverence, crying, “God, be merciful to me a sinner, and forgive me.”
Let us cast off, O believers, the boastful tone of the Pharisee, and emulate the prayer of the Publican in true reverence. Let us not be exalted in our own thoughts, but humble ourselves and cry contritely, “God forgive us our sins.”
About the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee
Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee who scrupulously observed the requirements of religion: he prayed, fasted, and contributed money to the Temple. These are very good things, and should be imitated by anyone who loves God. We who may not fulfill these requirements as well as the Pharisee did should not feel entitled to criticize him for being faithful. His sin was in looking down on the Publican and feeling justified because of his external religious observances.
The second man was a Publican, a tax-collector who was despised by the people. He, however, displayed humility, and this humility justified him before God (Luke 18:14).
The lesson to be learned is that we possess neither the Pharisee’s religious piety nor the Publican’s repentance. We are called to see ourselves as we really are in the light of Christ’s teaching, asking Him to be merciful to us, deliver us from sin, and to lead us on the path of salvation.
The Good Shepherd Orthodox Church, located in Clayton, Melbourne, is a living witness to the power of the Gospel and the fullness of the Christian Faith in modern, secular Australia.
We are a vibrant Australian Christian community under the direction of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand & the Philippines, within the jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East.
The Church of Antioch is the continuation of the Christian community founded in Antioch by the Apostles Peter (who served as its first bishop) and Paul. The Patriarchate of Antioch is the oldest of the ancient Patriarchates constituting the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ.
All services are in the English language and are held in the Main Chapel of the Religious Centre at Monash University, Clayton Campus, conveniently located in the centre of Melbourne’s residential population.
Parking in the University car parks is free after 7:00 pm, but please take note of all signs regarding Loading Zones, No Standing and Disabled Parking, these restrictions apply and are enforced.