God doesn’t want us to compare ourselves to other people.
Have you ever played a “find the difference” game? You know, you look at one picture and then you look at the other picture. Then you try to figure out what is different about the two. (You can do one on page 2!). In today’s Gospel reading, we hear a parable about a man who played “find the difference” in real life! This man looked at himself, and then he looked other people. He tried to figure out what was different about him and others. He tried to show how he was better than others. He saw another man in the temple and told God how he was better than that tax collector.
This man, called the Pharisee, prayed like this: “God, I thank you that I am not like other men…even like this tax collector.” This Pharisee “found the difference” and showed God too! “Find the difference” games are fun, but God doesn’t want us to do them in
real life. He doesn’t want us to compare ourselves to other people.
SAINT GORGONIA: THE SISTER OF SAINT GREGORY
We celebrate St. Gorgonia on Tuesday, Feb. 23rd (OC: March 8th). Have you ever described a brother or sister, or a friend? If somebody said, “What’s your sister like?”, what would you say? Maybe you would tell what she looked like, or what she likes to do, or what her favorite things are. Many years ago (1,400 years!), one of the great saints of our Church, Saint Gregory the Theologian, described his younger sister, Saint Gorgonia. Sadly, she died before he did, and Saint Gregory gave a beautiful sermon about her.
Saint Gorgonia came from a holy family. Her mother was Saint Nonna, and her big brother was Saint Gregory the Theologian, one of the Three Hierarchs. But you don’t have to come from a holy family to love the Lord and to do what He asks! Saint Gregory told how his sister, Gorgonia, was an example for everyone. Wouldn’t that be how you’d want somebody to describe you?