Why did Jesus recite the parable of the Pharisee and the publican? To warn us against pride, ambition, and vanity in our good works, which thereby lose all their merits; to teach us not to despise or judge any man, although he should appear most impious; finally, to show us that if we would be heard in our prayers, we must appear before God with an humble and penitent heart.
Why was not the Pharisee’s prayer acceptable to God? Because it was not a prayer, but rather a boast; for he praised himself, attributing his good works to himself, instead of giving God glory for them. Thus, despising and presumptuously judging others, he sinned the more against God, instead of making himself worthy of his praise.
Why was the prayer of the publican acceptable to God? Because, though short, it was most humble and penitent. He did not, like the Pharisee, advance into the temple, but remained afar off, as though unworthy the presence of God and the fellowship of men. There he stood, with eyes cast down, in token that, for his sins, he was not worthy to look up to heaven; nay, he openly confessed himself a sinner, and in sorrow smote his breast, thereby punishing, as it were, says St. Augustine, the sins which had come from his heart. Let us, then, be afraid of vainglory, like St. Ignatius, who said, “They who praise me scourge me” and St. Hilary, who wept when he saw himself honored, because he was afraid of receiving his reward on earth. Learn to despise vainglory and think of what St. Augustine says: God is most high; exalt yourself, and He withdraws from you; humble yourself, and He comes down to you.” Seek in all things not your own but God’s glory; accustom yourself before every under taking to raise your heart to God by making a good intention, and you will, like the publican, find grace before God.
Saint Martha, hostess of our Lord Jesus Christ, was born of royal kindred. Her father was named Syro and her mother Encharia. The father of her was duke of Syria and places maritime, and Martha with her sister possessed by the heritage of their mother three places, that was, the castle Magdalen, and Bethany and a part of Jerusalem. It is nowhere read that Martha had ever any husband or fellowship of man, but she as a noble hostess ministered and served our Lord, and would also that her sister should serve him and help her, for she thought that all the world was not sufficient to serve such a guest.
After the ascension of our Lord, when the disciples were departed, she with her brother Lazarus and her sister Mary, also Saint Maximum which baptized them, and to whom they were committed of the Holy Ghost, and many others, were put into a ship without sail, oars, or rudder, which by the conduct of our Lord they came all to Marseilles, and after came to the territory of Aix in Provence, and there converted the people to the faith. Martha was courteous and gracious to the sight of the people.
The Golden Legend also records the grand lifestyle imagined for Martha and her siblings in its entry on Mary Magdalene:
Mary Magdalene had her surname of Magdalo, a castle, and was born of right noble lineage and parents, which were descended of the lineage of kings. And her father was named Cyrus, and her mother Eucharis. She with her brother Lazarus, and her sister Martha, possessed the castle of Magdalo, which is two miles from Nazareth, and Bethany, the castle which is nigh to Jerusalem, and also a great part of Jerusalem, which, all these things they departed among them. In such wise that Mary had the castle Magdalo, whereof she had her name Magdalene. And Lazarus had the part of the city of Jerusalem, and Martha had to her part Bethany. And when Mary gave herself to all delights of the body, and Lazarus extended all to knighthood, Martha, who was wise, governed nobly her brother's part and also her sister's, and also her own, and administered to knights, and her servants, and to poor men, such necessities as they needed. Nevertheless, after the ascension of our Lord, they sold all these things.
National Lasagna Day is dedicated to appreciating lasagna. The true origins of when and how National Lasagna Day came to be are unclear. However, Google reports of National Lasagna Day began to appear in the 21st century. Lasagna is a flat-shaped pasta that is layered with sauce and various ingredients, the most popular including beef, spinach, cheese or seafood. Lasagna is believed to have originated in Naples, Italy. The first lasagna recipe appears in The Liber de Coquina (The book of cooking/cookery), which is one of the oldest medieval cookbooks. Some have suggested that lasagna comes from the Greek word laganon, which stands for a flat sheet of pasta dough. Others however suggest that lasagna comes from a 14th-century British recipe called Loseyn, which included layering ingredients between pasta sheets. National Lasagna Day is observed on July 29th of every year.
1) Vegan lasagna with tofu ricotta and butternut squash
2) Mexican lasagna with layers of refried beans, avocado, guacamole and fresh veggies
3) Zucchini and tomato lasagna with a cashew and herb cheese
4) Mushroom, pesto, spinach and tofu cheese lasagna
5) Eggplant, summer squash, zucchini, mushroom, tomato and basil lasagna with tofu ricotta