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
Today’s Gospel reading reminds us of the importance Jesus placed on purity of heart and goodness of spirit. What is important is not outer appearances, but inner cleanliness; not washing one’s hands before a meal, but arriving at table with a clean conscience. We need to remember at each Eucharist, when we are invited by Christ to dine with him, what he said to the Pharisees with whom he reclined at table to eat.
Sadly our country has yet again been the victim of a brutal attack, this time at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. And yet again the attack was not from outside terrorists but from inside aggressors, from one of our own. In the words of Walt Kelly’s Pogo, writing of possible insidious, home-grown terrorists in the 1950s during a time of increased tension over the Red Scare – in a time perhaps much like our own – yet again “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”
—Gregory Ostdiek, S.J. is a Jesuit scholastic teaching science to inquiring minds at Loyola Academy, Wilmette, IL.
Saints of God, come to their aid!
Hasten to meet them, angels of the Lord!
Receive their souls and present them to God the Most High.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, And let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.