As Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to have a meal with him. So He went and sat at table. The Pharisee then wondered why Jesus did not first wash his hands before dinner. But the Lord said to him, «So then, you Pharisees, you clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside yourselves you are full of greed and evil. Fools! He who made the outside, also made the inside. But according to you, by the mere giving of alms everything is made clean».
Every day is a new day, with new vitality and sometime with discouragements. Some days are filled with many activities and another will be a slow moody day. However the person who acts is always the same. Jesus is inviting each and every one of us to discover this invisible person through visible signs of life, in every human encounter.
God sees our interiority and man discovers it through the exterior elements. The more we learn to see the invisible truth of the person, the less we will be judgemental, rather filled with mercy and compassion. It’s here we become divine in our approach et our ordinary human encounter becomes de facto divine, without even we become conscience of the divine work through us.
Paul is calling the new converts to have a new behavioural changes and not to fall back to old laws and traditions. He is reminding them that we are not the people of law, rather new people of covenant. If we become aware of this covenant that God has done through the death and resurrection of the Lord, we can’t afford to remain the same old people. Like Paul, we will be radically a different person, both internally and externally, both in our words and deeds. Have a wonderful day.
«But according to you, by the mere giving of alms everything is made clean»
Fr. Pedro IGLESIAS Martínez
(Rubí, Barcelona, Spain)
Today, the evangelist shows us Jesus at a banquet: «A Pharisee asked him to have a meal with him» (Lk 11:37). The host must have frowned when he realized his guest could not care less about the hand washing ritual (which was not a precept of Law, but just a tradition from the old rabbis) on top of frowning upon him and his social group. The Pharisee did not hit the right day, and Jesus' behavior, as we would say today, was not “politically correct”.
The Gospels show us that the Lord was basically uninterested in what “people might say” or in what may be considered “politically correct” behavior; we see in the Gospels that Jesus didn’t care much for what people might say or what is politically correct, whether we like it or not. These are not criteria on which Christians should base their decisions. Jesus clearly condemns double morality, which clearly seeks convenience or deception: «So then, you Pharisees, you clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside yourselves you are full of greed and evil. Fools!» (Lk 11:39). God's word, as usual, questions us about customs and habits of our daily life, when we end up converting trivia into “values”, to disguise our sins of arrogance, selfishness and conceit, while attempting to “globalize” morals with political correction in order to avoid being out of tune or being marginalized, and this, irrespective of the price to be paid in terms of the soilure of our soul, as, after all, everybody does the same.
St. Basil used to say, «he who is prudent must be mostly afraid of living pending of others' opinion». If we are witnesses to Christ, we must know that the truth will always shine through. This is our mission amidst these men we share our live with, while trying to keep us clean after the model of man God has revealed to us in Christ. The cleanliness of spirit goes far beyond any social forms and, if we ever have any doubts, let us then remember that blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God. Each one must decide what he wants to see for all eternity.