While he was speaking, a Pharisee invited him to dine with him; so he went in and took his place at the table. The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not first wash before dinner. Then the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? So give for alms those things that are within; and see, everything will be clean for you.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
What a scene! Jesus as dinner guest in a Pharisee’s home! The table is set. The finest cups and plates are out. Suddenly something shocking happens. Jesus does not participate in the required pre-meal washing! (Picture yourself arriving at your grandmother’s home and putting your muddy boots up onto the white tablecloth). Jesus points out the Pharisees’ hypocrisy saying “although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil.” The Pharisees are dutifully following the religious laws, but the rest of their lives are filled with sin.
It seems to me Jesus is showing us that following societal, cultural, or religious norms alone are not enough. One’s faith cannot be separated from the way one lives each day. I cannot attend mass and then go to the lunch room and meanly gossip about colleagues. I cannot pray the rosary in the chapel and later cheat on a test in the classroom. Have I acted like the Pharisees today? How can I remember to keep Christ at the center of everything I do and every interaction I have today?
—Mr. Jerry Kinney teaches Spanish at Creighton Prep and is the moderator of Operation Others.
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. -Psalm 51:10Please share the Good Word with your friends!