October 16, 2018
by Luis Rodriguez, S.J.
Creighton University's Jesuit Community
click here for photo and information about the writer

Tuesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 468

Galatians 5:1-6
Psalms 119:41, 43, 44, 45, 47, 48
Luke 11:37-41

Praying Ordinary Time

One has to admire the Pharisees’ desire for observance. Of course, it is easier to be faithful, when we ourselves write the norms for faithfulness. The Pharisee party had written the norms for faithfulness, or at least some of them, based on external observance. Jesus does not condemn their desire to be faithful, but he disapproves of their placing observance purely on external things, regardless of internal disposition, of their making righteousness look like jumping through external hoops.

Jesus uses the giving of alms as an example. It is not just a matter of going through the mechanics of dropping coins in the temple collection box. Giving alms is expected to come from inside, from a desire to share with the needy or to contribute to a good cause, like the upkeep of the temple, and it is this disposition of the heart that makes a person clean or unclean, as the gospel of Mark [7:15] reminds us.

We need to pray that, as we go through external observance of good norms, including during the celebration of the Eucharist, we do so with the proper disposition in our hearts, because it is this that yields fruit in our lives.

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