Tuesday of the Twenty-Eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta
Letter of Saint Paul to the Galatians; Psalm 119:41, 43-45, 47-48; Luke 11:37-41
There's just no way to get around it: Jesus does not mince words when it comes to hypocrisy!
In today’s Gospel narrative, Jesus lays into the Pharisees for their insistence on ritualistic cleansing laws, while refusing to observe the greater good of giving to those in need. Later, in Luke’s Gospel, He goes on to blast the scribes and scholars as well for similar offenses.
It is easy to “tsk, tsk” and feel superior to the Pharisees or, for that matter, anyone
who pays more attention to the letter of the law than the spirit behind it. However,
you don’t have to be a person in authority to be guilty of hypocrisy. How often do we shake our heads in disapproval when we hear of people stopping at nothing to get ahead in life or in their career? Yet, we are quick to spread a rumor or cast doubt
on someone’s character while absolving ourselves with the words, “I don’t know if
this is true, but I heard that…”
Our Lord tells the Pharisee to “give alms” so that “everything will be clean for you.”
In other words, give and then give some more if you want to please God. Giving to
and serving others emanate from within, and that is where God dwells. No amount
of legal observance that neglects compassion and assistance to those in need can
ever please God.
As Saint Paul tells us in today’s first reading, if we try to be justified by observing the law, we separate ourselves from Christ. Additionally, Paul reminds us that the only thing that counts is “faith working through love.”
When we break it down, it is so simple. Listen to Jesus. Love God. Care for others, and the rest will take care of itself. There is just no way around it!
Question of the Day: How will you be compassionate to all those who are in need of your assistance?
Prayer: Almighty God, let me consecrate my whole life, all my time, all my efforts, and all my strength to Your service. Grant that I may use temporal things only to allow me to reach eternal values. Amen.