Tuesday, October 13, 2015 ~ Twenty-Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

 

Holy Gospel: Luke 11:37-41 After Jesus had spoken, a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home. He entered and reclined at table to eat. The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal. The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. You fools! Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside? But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you.”

 

Meditation: after hearing Jesus preach, the Pharisee in today’s Gospel invited Jesus to dinner, no doubt, because he wanted to hear more from this extraordinary man who spoke the word of God as no one else had done before. It was not unusual for a rabbi to give a teaching over dinner. Jesus, however, did something which offended his host. He did not perform the ceremonial washing of hands before beginning the meal. Did Jesus forget or was he deliberately performing a sign to reveal something to his host? Jesus turned the table on his host by chiding him for uncleanness of heart. Which begs the question (and a simple one at that!): which is more important to God – clean hands or a clean mind and heart?

 

Prayer: May your grace, O Lord, we pray, at all times go before us and follow after and make us always determined to carry out good works. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Contemplation: Jesus chided the Pharisees for harboring evil thoughts – greed, pride, bitterness, envy, arrogance, and the like – which can be sinful in and of themselves, but can also lead us to commit sins. Why does he urge them – and us – to give alms? When we give freely and generously to those in need we express love, compassion, kindness, and mercy. And if the heart is full of love and compassion, then there is no room for envy, greed, bitterness, and the like. So you might ask yourself today: Do I allow God’s love to transform my mind, my heart, and thus undertake actions toward my neighbor?  If not, why not?