Readings for Tuesday October 12, 2010
First Reading: Galatians 5:1-6
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 119
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.” (Lk 11:37-41)
As a kid growing up, I was always told that I should not judge people on how they look because it is what's on the inside that counts. This phrase is completely opposite to what our culture teaches. Our culture teaches that if you are not pretty, thin and/or muscular, with stylish hair, or have the latest fashionable clothes; then something is not right with you. Our culture tells us that we should hide what is on the inside and be like everyone else.
Our culture places little importance on the inside, but our Lord Jesus tells us that it is what's on the inside that counts. In today's gospel Jesus sits down to eat with a pharisee, the pharisee notices that Jesus did not do the prescribed ritual washing before the meal. Knowing their minds, Jesus sets them straight on what is important and what is not. Jesus knows that although they may take care of the outsides of their bodies, or may pay tithes of herb' their hearts and minds are filled with judgement, pride, and selfishness. Jesus knows that they are like this because they only take care of the outside, while what is inside their hearts and minds goes bad and rots away. They don't realize it is what's on the inside that counts.
St Paul reminds us that it is because of our faith we should not be bound to the law or to the the culture, we have freedom through Christ's selfless act of love for us. Paul tells us that it is not the observance of the law that counts, "but only faith working through love." (Gal 5:6)
Let us today, ask God to take away all the things in our hearts and minds that prevent us from loving God, others and ourself as we should. Let us ask Him to take away all the anger, judgement, bitterness, hate, pride, and selfishness that hold us back from Him, and to put in our hearts the Love of Christ. Let our faith work through love, and let us always remember that it is what's on the inside that counts.
Father above, we thank you for the gift of this day. We thank you for helping us see today what is important, and what you call us to do everyday. Lord, we pray for increased faith so that we may do good works through love. We pray for all those who are having trouble letting go of whatever is keeping them from you. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.