Read: Galatians 5:1-6, Ps. 119:41,43-45,47-48, Luke 11:37-41
“Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of extortion and wickedness. You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also?” (Luke 11:39-40)
Jesus tells us; “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12:24). Every day, before stepping out of our homes, we perform certain rituals; we wash our bodies with soap and water, clean our mouths, apply perfumes, put on our best dresses to match the occasion that is taking us out and so on.
Apart from our appearance, we are also good at washing the outside of our cups; we tend to be saints in public, but in private, when no one is looking, we are different. Nevertheless, we may ask, what efforts do we put in to examine our thoughts and cleanse ourselves of the following?
a. Negative Thinking: Feeling that nothing ever works, expecting the worst to happen, and never seeing the brighter side. Note that negativity is a sign of deep-seated faithlessness.
b. Compulsive Thinking: Being worried and anxious for no reason. Inability to be quiet, inability to even pray well (which is not merely talking but also listening to God), and inability to meditate without relapsing into worry (analysis paralysis).
c. Immoral Thinking: Accommodating the devil in our hearts through lust, indecent entertainment, the inordinate quest for material possession, cooking of lies, and thinking up new strategies to defraud people.
d. Ignorant Thinking: This represents the mind of one who does not know and does not admit it but remains very proud, never takes correction, never makes effort to learn, and never reads books not to mention the Holy Bible. This kind of thinking is what St. Paul condemns in today’s first reading; some people were still stuck with the law many decades after Christ had risen, promoting circumcision instead of faith working through love.
e. Selfish Thinking: Inability to consider the good of others, thinking only of what you can gain from people rather than what you can do to make their lives better as Jesus puts it: “full of extortion.”
f. Wicked Thinking: Vengeful thoughts, or what Jesus refers to as wickedness in today’s Gospel passage.
g. Complain-Complain Mentality: Constantly blaming everybody like Adam and Eve, criticizing people for not doing anything while refusing to do something yourself, pointing fingers at people, feeling that one is perfect while everyone else is just not good enough.
These are just a few of the dirt we carry within us daily. If only we make efforts to clean our insides, we would not only live happier and healthier lives, God himself would be more pleased with us.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, teach me how to constantly clean what is inside me. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Tuesday of week 28 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Galatians 5:1-6, Ps. 119:41,43-45,47-48, Luke 11:37-41)
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu