A Sunday in the Life of a Pharisee

August 2, 2012

By Fr. Vassilios Papavassiliou

 “This church is full of hypocrites. Look at these people! They don’t care about religion. Slackers! Nationalists! Oh look! Here’s another late comer. Why can’t they get their children to shut up? This is a place of prayer! I didn’t come to hear screaming babies! Look at that priest! His heart isn’t in this at all! And that chanter – what a show off! And that man in the corner with the prayer rope constantly crossing himself is really annoying me – showing off his piety. Pharisee! Love that Gospel Reading! Really sums up Pharisaic Christians, like that man in the corner. Weren’t you listening to any of that? It was about you! Thank God I’m not like that! Now look! A woman in a mini-skirt taking Communion – I bet she had breakfast! Too young to be married, but I bet she has sex. Does she have her spiritual father’s permission to take Communion? Bet she doesn’t know what a spiritual father is! Have any of these people gone to Confession or said the prayers before Communion like I have? I’m definitely going to go to a monastery next Sunday. Somewhere where I’ll find real Christians and pious priests and no screaming babies – somewhere where other so-called Christians won’t disturb my prayer”.

This is how Pharisees think. How do I know? Because there is a Pharisee in me too. There is a Pharisee in all of us.