Chronicle of St. George Serbian Orthodox Church
Diocesan Bishop - His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN
Parish Priest - Fr. Rodney Torbic
296 Old Route 21
Carmichaels, Pennsylvania 15320
Cellular Phone 412-860-0944
Many songs and prayers of the Church are taken from parts of the Bible.
The services themselves are formed after the pattern of worship given in the Bible.
To understand the services of the Church, we must know the Bible, and in order
to understand the Bible, we must participate in the church services.
The truth about God, God’s Law, God’s plan, and God’s love are revealed to us in the Bible.
January 23 / February 5, 2012
Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee
, Diocese of New Gracanica, Midwest America, Vol. 17, No. 3, 2010.
Remember the Students at St. Sava School of Theology, Libertyville, Illinois
The Sundays leading to Great Lent.
The gradual approach to Great Lent.
The importance of investing in Great Lent
Recent Activities of Parish Priest
January 27 - Went to Midland, Pennsylvania.
January 27 - Visited resident of Friendship Ridge in Beaver, Pennsylvania.
January 27 - Attended Diocesan Administrative Board meeting in Mars, Pa.
January 28 - Attended Diocesan Council meeting in Mars, Pa.
January 29 - Went to Monroeville, Pa.
January 31 - Blessed one house.
February 2 - Attended meeting of Carmichaels Ministerium.
February 2 - Served Vespers in Fairmont, W.Va.
The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray.
The Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee
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.”
The present Gospel emphasizes the importance of humility when approaching God in prayer.
When praying, coming to church services and coming to Holy Confession, taking time to focus
on personal sins has value.
In the current Gospel, the Lord Jesus Christ spoke of the humility of the tax collection
as having greater value than the boasting of the Pharisee. The Lord Jesus Christ said:
“There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over nine-nine just
persons who need no repentance.”
St. John Climacus in the book The Ladder of Divine Ascent said: “Humility is
the door to the Kingdom that introduces those who draw near to it.” 1
Individuals seeking the Kingdom of God do well to heed the lesson of the current Gospel.
St. Maximos the Confessor said: “If the indestructible power of the pure kingdom is
given to the humble and the gentle, what man will be so lacking in love and so complete
without appetite for divine blessings that he will not desire the greatest degree of
humility and gentleness…” 2
The current Gospel provides a standard for personal self-examination of Christians.
The self-boasting of the Pharisee has no place in the life of the serious Christian.
The humility of the tax collector is valued by the Lord Jesus Christ.
Individuals seeking to live in ways pleasing to Christ will control their tendencies
of boastfulness and self-justification. Individuals seeking to live in ways pleasing to
Christ will acknowledge and repent of personal sin.
Serious Christians seek the mercy and forgiveness of God. Serious Christians seek
strength from God to go forward in life in a greater state of purity. Sins become a part
of personal life due to inattentiveness to the ways of Christ.
Resoluteness is necessary in guarding the heart, the mind and the soul. Resoluteness
is necessary in controlling the mind, the tongue and the stomach. Resoluteness is necessary
in prayer and enrichment of the soul.
The Pharisee went to the temple and told God how good he was. The tax collector knew
he sinned. He was seeking to be better.
Each Christian determines the degree he or she will grow in Christ. Daily decisions
determine whether the believer is transformed “from glory to glory” as the Holy Apostle
Paul described to the Corinthians.
The Pharisee was content with his spiritual condition. The Pharisee did not speak
of the need or interest to improve. The Pharisee was proud of his religious efforts.
The Pharisee was blind to the value of humility.
The Gospel of the Publican and Pharisee is read each year in God’s Holy Church.
The perils of pride and the need for humility need reinforced throughout the year.
The reading of the Gospel in church is intended to impact local and far reaching
communities by a ripple effect. Believers listening carefully to the Gospel in church
will affect others they meet daily.
Individuals with a personal view comparable to the Pharisee will not be open to
fully hearing the Gospel. Individuals with the humility of the tax collector will seek
the nourishment of the Gospel for personal benefit.
The present Gospel provides two examples how believers can lead the remainder of
their lives. During the remaining time of earthly life, wise individuals will seek to
choose the way of the humble tax collector.
The Lord Jesus Christ made known the value of humility. The saints have documented
and detailed the place of humility in the Christian life. Acquiring humility requires
taking responsibility for person sin.
The Lord Jesus Christ showed the greatest degree of humility when He submitted to
being arrested and crucified. Jesus had the power to avoid arrest and the crucifixion.
Jesus’ time on the Cross was followed by His Resurrection. Believers acquiring
humility through the Crucified and Resurrected Christ experience the peace and joy
known only in Christ.
St. John Climacus The Ladder of Divine Ascent
Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Boston, Massachusetts, 2001, p. 155.
The Philokalia. Vol.II
Translated and by G.E.H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, Kallistos Ware with the assistance of others.
Faber and Faber, London and Boston, 1981, p. 293.
St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, Pennsylvania.
January 23 / February 5, 2012
Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee.
Holy Hieromarty Clement.
Fr. Rodney Torbic
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