Archbishop-Emeritus Daniel: They believed they were better than others

Today, 18 March, is the Memorial of Sat Cyril of Jerusalem, but according to the norms of the
Liturgical Calendar of the Catholic Church, during the Period of Lent, the readings must be those of
the Saturday of the Third Week of Lent, the Saints whose Memorials occur on these days are only

The first reading today is from the Prophet Hosea, whose message in the eighth century before
Christ to the people of the northern Kingdom of Israel, was “Come, let us return to the Lord; for he
has torn, that he may heal us; he has stricken, and he will bind us up. After two days he will revive
us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him.” We know now that the
prophet is foretelling the death and resurrection of our Saviour, Jesus Christ in 33 AD. The prophet
continues “For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God, rather than burnt offerings.
He was referring to the sacrificing of animals during the time before the coming of Christ.

St Luke in the Gospel today, records the parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were
righteous and despised others. “Two men went up to the temple to pray, the one a Pharisee and the
other a tax collector.” The Pharisees were those who believed that they were faithfully observing
the Law of Moses, and were therefore better than others. The tax collectors were aware that they
themselves were sinners. While the Pharisees stood up front in the temple, the tax collector stood
at the back too ashamed to even lift up his head, while he repeats “God be merciful to me a sinner!
Jesus says, “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other, for everyone-
who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted”. Need we say

A commemoration of the humble servant of God, Saint Cyril of Jerusalem.
He became Bishop of Jerusalem in 348. Throughout his life he battled against the Arians, who
refused to believe in the divinity of Christ. He wrote CATECHETICAL INSTRUCTIONS which were a
clear commentary on the Catholic faith and were used by catechumens who were preparing for

St Cyril was exiled three times by order of the Emperor who favoured the Arians. St Cyril attended the Council of Constantinople in 381 which finalized the Creed of Nicea. He died in 386 and was declared Doctor of the Church in 1882.



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