Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee
St. Nicholas Bulletin - February 13, 2022
Christ is in our midst! Христос међу нама! Cristo esta entra nosotros!
Orthodox Homily on
the Publican and the Pharisee

from Fr. Timothy Baclig
Today is “The Sunday of the Pharisee and the Publican.” It signals the approach of the season of repentance. The fast of Great Lent in our church begins with a two-week introduction starting with Meat Fare Sunday on February 27th, and the Sunday of Cheese Fare (March 6th). The first day of the fast this year is Monday, March 7th. The Church prescribes no fasting for this coming week, following the Sunday of the Publican and Pharisee and prior to the Sunday of the Prodigal Son – next Sunday. Our God is the God of mercy and compassion.

Humility is always the starting point for you and I to live and practice all that God demonstrated through the life of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, sent by the Father, who has also sent us His Holy Spirit. Our God is not a God of words. He is the Word (the divine Logos)! Moreover, our practice of prayer is not prayer of mere words. It is the prayer of love that is tied to our relationship with God and each other. The prayer of love is also tied to deeds of mercy. This also means that we live what we pray.

Today’s Gospel lesson sets before us the scene of two men who go to the Temple to pray, and of whom our Lord said, one is justified because of his humility and sincere contrition. It is among the shortest of lessons, but is among the most potent in content. You and I can manifest the simplest prayers when we pray from the heart. Sometimes it results from an unexpected tragedy, a sudden fear, being caught off guard, or being exposed from a hidden sin, maybe even a lesson that touches us in what we observe or are instructed. In the verse just prior to the beginning of the reading of today’s Gospel lesson (v. 9) we hear who Jesus addressed this parable: “To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else Jesus told this parable…”

Why? Because it is a spiritual problem that we don’t give ourselves much time to think about. Pride isolates and insulates and disassociates: none of which characterizes life in God’s Kingdom. Consequently, it behooves each of us, before the season of the Great Fast to take note of our own understanding of what it truly means to be a member of God’s Kingdom. We are very accustomed to condemning Pharisees. We say, “At least, despite all of my sins, I am no Pharisee. I am not a hypocrite.” And we forget that the prayer of the Pharisee in today’s lesson is very possibly true. He does not lie or put up a façade. Who is this Pharisee? He is someone who fasts twice a week. He tithes (gives 10% of his earnings to the temple). He is free from gross sins (he is not a robber, does not practice evil, is not an adulterer). And all of this is true! Moreover, the Pharisee does not take credit for his good actions; he acknowledges and recognizes that they all come from God and he gives thanks to God.

So what is wrong with this Pharisee? There are two things that are lacking in the prayer of the Pharisee: first he lacks humility, and second, he is without repentance. It’s his attitude. The Pharisee is a man with an attitude – a wrong attitude! He has a spiritual problem. And so for us, the importance of the lesson is: that you and I can do everything right and still be shut out of the Kingdom of God! And so, even before Great Lent begins, the first and most important lesson before the season of the fast brings calls our attention to the fact that our good works in and of themselves cannot save us. The three disciplines of Great Lent include prayer, fasting and good works (almsgiving). The three must go together. If some of us are better or more accomplished in one or the other, we must work to keep a balance in all three. The Elder Joseph the Hesychast said: “Acts of charity, almsgiving and all the external good works do not suppress the arrogance of the heart; but [prayer] meditation, the labor of repentance, contrition and humility – these humble the proud mind.” In the end, Christianity aims at not making us proud but repentant. The goal of the Christian life is humility with contrition. The spiritual fathers of the church speak of this as the descent of the mind into the heart. In other words it is not only about acquiring good knowledge or correct belief. Our faith is not an act, nor is it about facades or masks. It is about fearing God and about the practice of faith, hope and love; the greatest of which is love because our God is a God of mercy and compassion.

The Pharisee in today’s lesson is not aware of his shortcomings—even the excusable ones—of which he, like all men are guilty. Beyond that, he compares himself to the publican with a certain pride and disdain. Now, let me ask you a very serious and important question: Do you think that we would have the right to condemn the Pharisee and to consider ourselves more righteous than him if we were to break the commandments that the Pharisee observes? Do you think that we would have the right to place ourselves – in contrast to the Pharisee – on the same level as the justified publican? We cannot do any such thing unless our attitude is exactly the same as that of the publican. Would we even dare to say that we have the publican’s humility and repentance?

If we ostentatiously condemn the Pharisee without truly becoming like the publican ourselves, we fall into the sin of Phariseeism. It carries with it a self-serving attitude that separates us from God and each other. So what can we learn about the Publican? First we are told that “he stood at a distance.” He does not dare to lift up his eyes; he smites his breast; he implores God to have mercy upon him, and realizes that he is a sinner. His whole bodily attitude also demonstrates humility. (A saint once said, “Jesus Himself has taken the last place so completely that no one has ever been able to take it from Him.”) This is the reason why the Lord said about the publican: “This man went down to his house justified rather than the other.” Jesus uses the expression “rather than the other” in order to leave the Pharisee’s case open to our thought. He wants us to give the lesson serious thought. He concludes at the end of verse 14: “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” We see in the publican something more than a good attitude. He not only confesses his sin and positions himself humbly before God. The heart of the publican’s prayer is an appeal, filled with trust, to the goodness and tenderness of God. He says, “God, be merciful to me a sinner.” (the first words of the penitent Psalm 50 of David.) Our Lord chooses to place these words in the mouth of the publican for a reason. In doing so He provides us with a model of prayer for repentance. He asks penitents (each one of us) complete trust in the tender mercy of God. We all need gratification. We all need attention. We all need love. And we all probably need to begin to recognize and acknowledge many in our lives that have not received, and often do not get enough thanks for their sacrifices and virtues as models and examples. However, just as “tooting our own horn,” is not a Christian virtue, neither is burning with envy and jealousy which is rooted in pride. The temptation of pride is avoided when one maintains a healthy prayer life and an honest relationship with God. In summary, one can say that the discipline of Great Lent is to break, or “till the soil” of a hard heart and a proud mind. In the end, the goal of Christianity is not making us proud, or even helping us to feel good or bad about ourselves. The goal of the Christian life is humility with contrition. The spiritual fathers of the Church speak of this as the descent of the mind into the heart. Listen to the wisdom of St. Anthony the Great: "Learn to love humility, for it will cover all you sins. All sins are repulsive before God, but the most repulsive of all is pride of the heart. Do not consider yourself learned and wise; otherwise, all your effort will be destroyed, and your boat will reach the harbor empty."

O Lord our God who didst reproach the Pharisee with justifying himself and taking pride in his actions and didst justify the publican when he approached Thee humbly, seeking with groans forgiveness for his sins – for Thou dost not draw near to arrogant thoughts or turn away contrite hearts. We also kneel our heart and soul before Thee, O Thou who didst suffer for our sakes. Grant us forgiveness and Great Mercy. 
~Hymnography of the Day~
Commemorating Holy Wonderworkers and Unmercenaries Cyrus and John and those with them, Venerable Niketas of the Kiev Caves Far Caves Bishop of Novgorod, Martyrs Victorinus, Victor, Nikephoros, Claudius, Diodorus, Serapion and Papias of Egypt, Martyr Tryphaine at Cyzicus, St Arsenius of Paros, St Julius of Aegina

When the stone had been sealed by the Jews, while the soldiers were guarding Your most pure body, You rose on the third day, O Savior, granting life to the world. The powers of heaven therefore cried to You, O Giver of Life: “Glory to Your Resurrection, O Christ! Glory to Your Kingdom! Glory to Your dispensation, O Lover of mankind!”

The celestial choir of heavenly angels bends down to the earth and sees the First-born of all creation being carried into the Temple as a babe by a Mother who has not known man, and in amazement sings with us a pre-festal hymn.

You have given us the miracles of Your martyrs, Cyrus and John, as an invincible rampart; through their prayers, frustrate the plans of the heathens, and strengthen the faith of the Orthodox Christians, for You alone are good and love mankind.

In truth you were revealed to your flock as a rule of faith, an image of humility and a teacher of abstinence; your humility exalted you; your poverty enriched you. Hierarch Father Nicholas, entreat Christ our God that our souls may be saved.

Let us flee from the pride of the Pharisee! Let us learn humility from the Publican’s tears! Let us cry to our Savior: “Have mercy on us, O only merciful One!”

The Word, unseen with the Father, now is seen in the flesh, ineffably born of the Virgin, and is given into the arms of the priest and Elder. Let us worship Him, our True God.

~Scripture Readings of the Day~
Matins: Lenny Tepsic Epistle: Wayln John
Next Week:     Matins : Milan Radanovic      Epistle: Matthew Hoover
EPISTLE: II Timothy 3: 10-15

DEACON:      Let us pay attention. 
PRIEST:        Peace be unto all!
READER:      And with your spirit!
DEACON:      Wisdom.
READER:      The Prokeimenon in the First Tone: Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us as we have set our hope on You!
CHOIR: Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us as we have set our hope on You!
READER: v: Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! Praise befits the just!
CHOIR: Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us as we have set our hope on You!
READER: Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us ...
CHOIR: … as we have set our hope on You!
DEACON: Wisdom!
READER: The Reading is from the Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to Timothy.
DEACON: Let us attend!
READER: Timothy my son, you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance, persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
PRIEST: Peace be unto you, reader!
READER: And with your spirit! 
DEACON: Wisdom!
READER: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
CHOIR: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
READER: Go forth, prosper and reign, for the sake of meekness, righteousness and truth!
CHOIR: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
READER: For You love righteousness, and hate iniquity.
CHOIR: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
АПОСТОЛ:  II Тимиотеју 3: 10-15

Ђакон:          Пазимо
Свештеник: Мир свима!
Читач:           I Духу Твоме!
Ђакон:           Премудрост
Читач : ПРОКИМЕН- глас 1 Нека буде милост Твоја, Господе, на нама, као што се уздасмо у Тебе.
Хор: Нека буде милост Твоја, Господе, на нама, као што се уздасмо у Тебе.
Читач: Веселите се, праведници, пред Господом, праведнима доликује похвала.
Хор: Нека буде милост Твоја, Господе, на нама, као што се уздасмо у Тебе.
Читач: Нека буде милост Твоја, Господе,
Хор: на нама, као што се уздасмо у Тебе.
Ђакон: Премудрост
Читац: Читање је од посланице Светог апостола Павла до Тимотеја.
Ђакон: Пазимо
Читач: Чедо Тимотеје, ти си следовао мојој науци, живљењу, настројењу, вјери, дуготрпљењу, љубави, истрајности, гоњењима, страдањима која ми се догодише у Антиохији, у Иконији, у Листри. Каква гоњења претрпјех и од свих избави ме Господ! А и сви који хоће да живе побожно у Христу Исусу биће гоњени. А зли људи и опсјенари напредоваће од зла на горе, варајући и варајући се. Но ти стој у томе што си научио и што си се увјерио, знајући од кога си се научио, и што из дјетињства знаш свештене списе који те могу умудрити за спасење кроз вјеру у Христа Исуса.
Свештеник: Мир ти читачу!
Читач: I Духом Твоме! 
Ђакон: Премудрост!
Читач: Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
Хор: Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
Читач: Похитај, напредуј и владај, ради истине, кротости и правде.
Хор: Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа
Читач: Љубиш правду и мрзиш безакоње.
Хор: Алилуиа, Алилуиа, Алилуиа

Luke 18: 10-14

At that time the Lord spoke this parable, “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.”

Лука 18: 10-14

У вријеме оно Господ је изговорио ову параболу, два човјека уђоше у храм да се моле Богу, један фарисеј а други цариник. Фарисеј стаде и мољаше се у себи овако: Боже, хвала ти што нисам као остали људи: грабљивци, неправедници, прељубници или као овај цариник. Постим двапут у седмици; дајем десетак од свега што стекнем. А цариник издалека стајаше, и не хтједе ни очију уздигнути небу, него се бијаше у прса своја говорећи: Боже, милостив буди мени грјешноме! Кажем вам, овај отиде оправдан дому своме, а не онај. Јер сваки који себе узвисује понизиће се, а који себе понизује узвисиће се.

~ The Week Ahead: Scriptures and Services ~
February Birthdays
Linsay Barry (Feb 1), Sloane York (Feb 2), Lincoln Grey Moore (Feb 5), Pete & Joe Petrovich (Feb 6), Jasmine Jacobs (Feb 6), Rod Vorkapich (Feb 8), Sladjana Gligorevic (Feb 9), Parker Rae Petrovich (Feb 10), Ruby Cangialosi (Feb 12), Isla Goodling (Feb 13), Waad Jacobs (Feb 15), Blake Bazdar (Feb 16), Susan Jacobs (Feb 18), John Semic (Feb 21), Emily Fithian (Feb 22), Ethan Imschweiler (Feb 22), Janet Krnjaic (Feb 24), Michael York (Feb 24), Steve Cashman (Feb 27), Alan Radanovic (Feb 29), Mike Sunajko

February Anniversaries
Dean & Karen Stefan (Feb 6), Ferris & Jody Atty (Feb 28)
~Bulletin Board~

We give thanks to God for you and your service during these past two years of the pandemic. While the times were some of the most difficult in our parish’s history, you served with dedication, competence, and Christ-centered love. Through your efforts our parish had no significant COVID-19 spreading event, yet we were still able to worship the Lord each and every week. You acted with foresight, discernment and compassion amidst a turbulent and tumultuous time. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! We thank God for you all!

~Fr. Chris and the St. Nicholas Parish

Please call Daria Milletics in the office at 717.939.3872 if you do NOT want your house blessed this year. Otherwise, expect to receive a call 1-2 days in advance of Fr. Christopher's visit.

Monday, February 14 — Friday, February 18
(Feb 19 Make-up Day)
17102, 17104, 17109, 17110, 17111, 17112
Monday, February 21 — Friday, February 25
(Feb 26 Make-up Day)
17019, 17365, 17315, 17316, 17331, 17225, 17221
17070, 17319, 17339, 17345, 17361, 17362, 17363, 17370, 17401, 17406
Monday, February 28 — Thursday, March 3
17026, 17028, 17032, 17038, 17042, 17045, 17078, 17003
17502, 17522, 17540, 17543, 17545, 17552, 17557, 17601, 17602, 17603

We prepare for Great Lent beginning this week. Thus, there is no fast at all this week. Meat and dairy are permitted on all days, including Wednesday and Friday, in a practical directive to assist in consuming these products prior to Lent’s beginning to prevent spoiling. Enjoy the week!

The Diocesan Assembly will be hosted here at St. Nicholas on March 4 and 5, 2022. We need
volunteers to serve food and drinks during dinner on Friday evening. On Saturday, we will also need volunteers to serve lunch after the Liturgy and meetings. Please contact Daria Milletics in the office to sign up.

The End of Year statements for 2021 have been mailed out along with the 2022 Stewardship Cards. Please let us know if you fail to receive them or if you find any discrepancies.

JoAnn Filepas is collecting 2022 dues for the St Nicholas Seniors. Please mail your dues to her at (7054 Red Top Road, Harrisburg 17111). Dues are $5 for the year.

Mothers Club dues for 2022 are due. Please submit $5 to Popadija Andreja. The Mothers Club primary mission is to support our Sunday School and children. If you are not a member and would like to join, please also contact Popadija Andreja.

Our SOTAYA Group is once again selling frozen packs of cevapi at $15/pack (32 pieces). To order see Dn. Bojan Gligorevic, Matthew Hoover, or call the office at 717.939.3872.

Order Deadline is February 13, 2022
Pickup is February 20, 2022
Following Divine Liturgy
Cost $8.00 per dinner
Menu includes
Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, Stuffing, Corn, Apple Sauce & Roll
Call Peggy Radanovic for questions or to place an order 717-641-4249

Please consider bringing in donations for our Food Pantry box in the lobby along with any of the following:
Men’s mission—13 and 60 gallon trash bags, wash cloths & towels, Large print bibles (NIV, NASB or ESV), batteries (AA, AAA, 9 volt), umbrellas, shower shoes (flip flops), and winter clothing (thermal underwear, sweatshirts, long sleeved shirts such as under armor—plus sized LG-XXXL needed most), winter boots (size 10-13)
Medical Clinic—Alka Seltzer Cold, Neosporin, Anti-Fungal Cream, Cepacol Throat Lozenges, Cough Drops (regular and sugar free), DayQuil, Eye Drops, Hand Sanitizer (personal size), Hydrocortisone Cream, Instant Hot Packs, Lip Balm, Sinus Congestion Medication
Mobile Mission—Sweatshirts & pants (M, L, XL), Jeans (Waist 32,34,36,38,40), Underwear, T-shirts, Candles, Sterno, Deodorant, Flashlights
Women’s Mission—Stamps, Paper products, headphones/earbuds, phone chargers, gallon size baggies, bath towels, washcloths
Dental Clinic—Hydrogen Peroxide 1.5%-2% mouth rinse, Polident, soft toothbrushes (individually packaged), travel size non-alcoholic mouthwash, dental pics & floss, denture cases, travel toothbrush holders

February Charity
St. Sava Libertyville, School of Theology

St. Sava School of Theology is named in memory of St. Sava, the first archbishop, teacher and enlightener of the Serbian people. On January 27th we celebrated St. Sava’s Day and it is fitting that we also offer support to the theological seminary in the US named for him. The main mission and goal of the school is to provide religious education and train candidates for the Holy Priesthood in the Serbian Orthodox Church specifically as well as interested Orthodox Christian individuals of other ethnic jurisdictions. St. Save School is the educational center for individuals committed to serving the Serbian Orthodox Church and her people in a multi-lingual environment. The school presently offers study leading to the Bachelor of Divinity Degree. Graduate level programs of study are also being developed at the School and in conjunction with other institutions. Funding is provided by an annual budget proposed by the School and adopted and implemented by the Central Council of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the US and Canada. Financial support is sought from all the Serbian Orthodox Dioceses and church congregations. More information about the School’s programs, plans and course of study may be found at the diocesan website at the following link:

Stewardship Reflection
Sunday, February 13, 2022
Today, the Gospel reading about the Publican and the Pharisee focuses on humility. In reflecting on these verses, we are asked to consider which person do we typically act like? Are we humble in our actions with family, at work, with fellow parishioners? In Father Alexander Schmemann's book entitled Great Lent-Journey to Pascha - he says "Humility - be it individual or corporate, ethnic or national - is viewed as a sign of weakness, as something unbecoming of real man. Even our Churches - are they not imbued with the same spirit of the Pharisee? Do we not want our every contribution. every good deed, all that we do for the Church to be acknowledged, praised and publicized?"
God asks us to consider our Stewardship through prayer and focus on how we will be judged as stewards of what He provides. This should be done with humility, between the Steward and God.
Matthew 6:1-4 
"Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 
Данашње Јеванђеље је о Мирату и Фарисеју као и о понизности - смирењу. Када размишњамо о прочитаном Јеванђељу и ми треба да се се запитамо какви ссмо као људи. Да ли смо смирени када је у питању породица , посао и са свим парохијанима које срећемо? У књизи оца Александра Шмемана која се зове Велики Пост- Пут ка Васкрсењу", он каже да је понизност- смирење , било да је лично или заједничко , етичко или начионално- углавном се види као знак слабости , као неко ко престаје да буде човек. Чак и наше Цркве - нису ли ипињене истим духом као и Фарисеј? Ми желимо да сваки наш прилог , сваки наш рад буде јавно похваљен , штампан у билтенима итд.
Бог од нас тражи да наше Старатељство буде кроз молитву и да обратимо пажњу како ће мо бити осуђени као старатељи онога што је ОН дао. Ово би требало да буде у понизности-смирењу , да буде између Старатеља и Бога.
Матеј 6: 1-4
Пазите да правду своју не чините пред људима да вас они виде; иначе плате немате од оца својега који је на небесима. Кад дакле дајеш милостињу, не труди пред собом, као што чине лицемјери по зборницама и по улицама да их хвале људи. Заисто вам кажем: примили су плату своју. А ти кад дајеш милостињу, да не зна љевака твоја што чини десница твоја. Тако да буде милостиња твоја тајна; и отац твој који види тајно, платиће теби јавно.