The people felt in Sava's person a true friend and shepherd of their very own. They readily
believed and obeyed him because they saw him doing what he was teaching. "The people were
fed by his words as by honey." They loved his simplicity and his sincerity. For he went
among the plain people with simplicity as one of them and yet with the unobtrusive
superiority of an apostle. Moreover God confirmed him as His own messenger by many miracles
he wrought on the sick by prayers.
(The Life of St.Sava.
Serbian Eastern Orthodox Diocese for the United States and Canada,
Libertyville, Illinois, 1951, p. 83
Remember the Students at St. Sava School of Theology, Libertyville
· St. Sava in the life of the Serbian People.
· St. Sava Day programs throughout the world.
· The prayers of St. Sava.
Recent Activities of Parish Priest
· January 21 - Attended Slava celebration of parishioner.
· January 22 - Blessed one home.
· January 23 - Blessed one home.
· January 24 - Blessed two homes.
· January 25 - Went to Diocesan Center, Mars.
· January 27 - Went to Midland, Pennsylvania.
From the Desert Fathers
She (Syncletica) also said, 'Imitate the publican, and you will not be condemned with the
Pharisee. Choose the meekness of Moses and you will find your heart which is a rock changed
into a spring of water.'
Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee 2007
Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The
Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, "God, I thank You that I am not like other
men---extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week;
I give tithes of all that I possess.' And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not
so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, "God, be merciful to me
a sinner.!" "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other;
for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."
Everyone having faculty of mind can learn the Jesus Prayer: "Lord Jesus Christ,
Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner." Some people pray the prayer in shorter form.
The Jesus Prayer is short enough to be memorized and used throughout the day. The Jesus
Prayer is short enough to be used when time is at a premium. The Jesus Prayer is easy enough
to use when unexpected circumstances arise.
Ideally, we work toward the goal established by the Holy Apostle Paul to pray without
ceasing (I Thess. 5:17). Praying the Jesus Prayer is beneficial. The
Jesus Prayer is not the only prayer available. It is an important prayer.
Believers need to be concerned about the soul. The present Gospel message indicates the
publican was concerned about his condition of sinfulness. We are to recognize the log in our
own eye not the specks in the eyes of others (Mt. 7:3).
The Pharisee devoted attention to building himself at the expense of the publican.
Each person will be judged by God (Mt.25:31-33) Each person does well to address personal
sinfulness while time exists.
We do not know when the Second Coming will occur (Mt. 25:13).
We do not know the length of our days. We do not know which day is our last day.
We do not know which breath is our last breath.
Each day is to be used wisely. Each day is to be used for the glory of God.
Each day is a gift from God. Each day is a day appropriate to give thanks to God.
The publican in the present Gospel was not praying for material riches.
The publican in the material Gospel was not praying for fame or fortune.
The publican was praying for the mercy of God.
Material goods are of no value if sin dominates an individual's life.
Material goods are of no value to the person when he or she departs this life.
The condition of the soul during this life and at the hour of death is of importance.
Prayer helps a person set him or herself right with God. Prayer helps a person recognize
the need for repentance. Prayer helps a person combat the temptations that arise.
Praying is an investment in the Kingdom of God. Praying directs a person to the Kingdom
of God. Attentiveness to prayer strengthens the value of prayer. Serious prayer affects the
life of the person and others.
The Holy Orthodox Church wants believers to learn the lessons of the present Gospel.
The Holy Orthodox Church wants believers to learn about humility and about prayer.
The Holy Orthodox Church wants believers to learn arrogance and looking down on others
has no place in the journey to the Kingdom.
St. Sava was a person of prayer. He traveled to religious places. He established places
of prayer. He chose to become a monastic. Serbian Orthodox Christians identify with
St. Sava and draw their identity from St. Sava. Serbian Orthodox Christians profess love
for St. Sava.
A good way to show love for St. Sava is to value prayer as did St. Sava.
A good way to show love for St. Sava is to pray regularly as did St. Sava.
A good way to show love for St. Sava is to establish places for prayer and worship.
Each home can have a place specifically set aside for prayer. The home itself can take
on an atmosphere of prayer. Each privately owned workplace or personal workspace can take
on a prayerful presence.
Each person seriously practicing prayer for an extended period of time will be transformed.
Peace is achievable through prayer. Presence of mind is achievable through prayer.
We come to know more about God through prayer. We come to know there is much more to know
about God through prayer. We come to increasingly love God through prayer. We come to see God
more at work through prayer.
The publican became a lasting example through simply confessing his sinfulness and praying
to God for mercy. He acknowledged his dependence on God. He acknowledged the need for God's
We cannot take a single breath without God. We all continue to sin and are in need of Gods'
mercy. We may be blind to our sinfulness. Being blind to sinfulness does not remove the
Prayer can bring sinfulness into perspective. Prayer can lead to joy in Christ.
Prayer can lead to hope in Christ. Prayer can lead the sinner to reconciliation with Christ.
Prayer can help the sinner seek forgiveness.
Reconciliation with God is necessary. Unity with God is desirable. Remaining close with
God through prayer keeps the person strong in faith. Remaining close with God in prayer arms
the person against temptations and attacks.
The love of God becomes better known through prayer. The Holy Apostle Paul said:
"For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers,
nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing,
shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
January 15 / January 28, 2007
Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee.
Fr. Rodney Torbic
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