Two parables on prayer are here given. The first insists on its necessity as an alternative to fainting. The second reveals the secrets of prevailing prayer, namely, humility and a deep sense of need. The comparison of the two prayers offered in the Temple precincts will show in the case of the Pharisee a sense of self which almost excluded the consciousness of God, while in the case of the publican the supreme sense was of God. The fist was rejected. The other was justified.
It is significant that the three evangelists, Matthew, Mark, and Luke, show that the incidents of the blessing of the children and the rich young ruler were united. Of the children our Lord declared, "Of such is the Kingdom of God." The character that proves citizenship is the character of childhood.
In dealing with the young ruler the truth was emphasized that only through the strait door of absolute renunciation of self is it possible for men to regain the child attitude toward life.
What follows reveals that this renunciation demands the way of the Cross. For a while these disciples shunned the shame and the pain of it. Ultimately, however, every man of them, save Judas, went into the realm of death with Jesus. The incident of the blind beggar reveals that fellowship in that Cross always results in compassion and willingness to help those in trouble.
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25