October 28, 2007

HO THEOS HILASTHETI MOI TO HAMARTOLO

GOD BE MERCIFUL TO ME A SINNER


About one hundred and fifty years before the birth of Jesus, the pagan, idol-worshipping Greeks invaded and occupied the nation of Israel.

The Pharisee movement started up to preserve the Israelites, the chosen people of God, from the contamination of the Greek idol worship.

For the people of Israel, the original Pharisees were heroes fiercely loyal to God and country.

Unfortunately, by the time of Christ, some of the Pharisee movement had stiffened into hollow observance and showing off.

About ninety years after the Greeks invaded Israel (therefore, about sixty years before Christ was born) the Romans invaded Israel.

Israelites who worked as tax collectors for Rome forced their fellow Israelites to pay more than the Romans required. That way the tax collector could take in more for himself than the Romans paid him.

A tax collector did to his fellow citizens what Judas Iscariot did to Jesus: betraying their own for money.

In the Gospel of Sunday’s Mass, Jesus tells a parable of a tax collector and a Pharisee who are both praying in a house of God.

I’ve posted a homily for that Gospel.
Click HERE for it.

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