Jesus says that the Public went home “justified.” In practice, justification is knowing who God is and what our relationship to God is. It acknowledges humbly who we are before God: sinners in need of mercy. The Pharisee teaches us that religious practices are important, but not enough. The Publican teaches us that God doesn’t offer salvation only to the perfect, but to those who acknowledge their sinfulness and cry out to God for mercy. We need to turn to God and ask for His mercy.