Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God (Luke 16: 15)
Metropolitan Vladimir of Chisinau and all Moldova celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the Nativity of the Lord Cathedral on the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee, 16 February, 2019.
This Sunday Service started with the consecration of the Antimenses, and continued with the Divine Liturgy.
The Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee comes to prepare the church-goers for the beginning of the Great Lent. Songs of repentance are chanted in the church during the service, and passages from Triodion (the Lenten church book) are used.
The Parable of the Publican and the Pharisee teaches us that God can be truly praised only with pure heart, replenished with the feeling of repentance and awareness that salvation cannot be achieved solely with one’s rigid fulfilment of the Commandments and the Law. Lord Jesus, our God and Saviour, came to redeem the sinners from death, while blind compliance with the precepts of the Law generates own pride and feeling of self-sufficiency that excludes the role of God in the work of salvation. The Biblical Publican shows that a humble and repenting heart is able to draw God’s mercy and forgiveness, the only way to salvation.
Numerous church-goers participated in the Communion during the Service, answering to the liturgical invitation: With the fear of God, faith, and love, draw near.
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