In today's Gospel, the prayer of the publican is shown drawing God’s mercy to him. This prayer consisted of the following words: God be merciful to me a sinner (Lk. 18:13). It is worthy of our attention that God heard such a short prayer, and that it was pronounced in the temple, during the common worship services, during the reading and chanting of psalms and other prayers. This prayer is commended in the Gospels; it is set forth as an example of prayer, and it becomes our sacred duty to piously contemplate it.