My homily for Trinity XI is actually done! If you so desire, view it here.
Those who wish to be Christians and find favor with God must do as the tax collector in our parable today: come before God as a poor beggar, with empty hands, and confess that you are nothing but a poor miserable sinner. And like this tax collector, believe in the mercy of God, who made His beloved Son a sacrifice in your place.
This was where the tax collector’s faith was, not in himself, not in his own religious devotion, but in the blood of the sacrifice. So also, we look in faith not to ourselves or to our own piety or personal devotion to God, but rather to God Himself, to the cross, to the One who became sin for us in order that we might become the righteousness of God.
Certainly it is right and proper that as Christians we should serve our neighbor with love and charity. Certainly it is true that we ought to give a percentage to the Church for the support of the Gospel in this place. Certainly we ought to pray and fast. These are all commendable works and if we were really Christians we would be eager to put our hands to work on behalf of our neighbor. But we dare not bring these works into our relationship with God. We dare not put our trust in these as if it were these things that make us righteous and acceptable to God.