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Catechesis on the Parables of Jesus: The Publican and the Pharisee
In this series of articles on the parables we have been seeking to implement the principles of interpretation of the Scriptures outlined in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 109-119). The Catechism itself is a summary of the living tradition of the Church, and as such, represents the Church's interpretation of Scripture. We have chosen for this issue of The Sower the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican. The Jerusalem Bible offers two cross-references in the Old Testament: Proverbs 21:2 "A man's conduct may strike him as upright, Yahweh, however, weighs the heart", and Proverbs 28:13 "He who conceals his faults will not prosper, he who confesses and renounces them will find mercy". The Catechism also picks up the same two themes in reference to this parable - paragraph 2559 speaks of the virtue of humility in prayer, while paragraph 2613 focuses on the basic attitude of prayer for God's mercy.