TUESDAY OF THE TWENTY-EIGHTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME OCTOBER 16, 2018


A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 11:37-41

37When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table. 38But the Pharisee was surprised when he noticed that Jesus did not first wash before the meal. 39Then the LORD said to him, "Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? 41But now as for what is inside you-be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you. 37When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table. 38But the Pharisee was surprised when he noticed that Jesus did not first wash before the meal. 39Then the LORD said to him, "Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? 41But now as for what is inside you-be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.

REFLECTION: Jesus did not first wash before the meal.

This gospel immediately follows the gospel of the sign. Shortly afterward a Pharisee invites Jesus to dine at his house. Jesus accepts the invitation. But Jesus does not conform to what the Pharisee expects, the following of the religious obligation to wash his hands before dining. This was a law imposed by the Pharisees in the name of Purity. So it was not about manners but about the religious duties of the Jew.

Whether the Pharisee invited Jesus because he wanted to know more about him or if it was to scrutinize him one on one is unknown. I choose to believe it was to know more about Jesus. They met one on one and they dialogued in spite of criticism by the Pharisee and the harsh words by Jesus.

What good was this outwardly cleanliness of the body when the inside (our heart) held evil thoughts, greed, pride, envy, bitterness, arrogance, laziness, judgment, assumptions and meanness. Jesus reminds the Pharisee that he needs to empty his heart of evil and one sure way is to give alms. Almsgiving empties us of sin and we then have room for transformation by Jesus by filling our empty hearts with love, compassion, generosity, kindness and fervor for the Lord.

PRAYER: Dearest Lord, We are sinful people who can make ourselves look pretty good. People think that we are wonderful people because we do this or do that and people will say of us "Aren't they nice?" So dear Lord , "Do not let me doll up the outside so as to look nice; make my inside truly clean and pure by giving me the graces to live a life full of your Spirit. Amen

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