Good morning, happy Tuesday, and many blessings.
In today’s Gospel (Luke 11:37-41) there is the continuation of the tense relationship between Jesus and the religious authority of his time. But in spite of the tension there was a certain familiarity between Jesus and the Pharisees. Invited to eat at their house, Jesus accepts the invitation. He does not lose his freedom before them, and neither do the Pharisees before him.
It is clear that in this Gospel Jesus is referring to the state of the hearts of the Pharisees when he says that the inside of the cup and dish are filled with plunder and evil. In the previous verses, Jesus warned that the light in us can actually be darkness. Then, he asked the people who had invited him over for a meal to take a look inside themselves. They were spending a great deal of time, energy, and worry over being clean outside. While being clean outside is good, the bigger issue was on the inside — whether their hearts were clean. Knowing them and their values, Jesus challenged them to do something that would reveal just who they were, inside and out. He spoke to their greed. While they may have looked religious and righteous on the outside, he knew that greed was consuming them on the inside. In our age, Jesus' challenge still stands — take a look on the inside. And the monster on the inside for a lot of us today is still the same: greed.
When we reflect on the state of our hearts, how often do we ask ourselves whether it is free from ill-intent, falsehood and insincerity? When we stop to reflect, we realize that it is important to know and understand the state of our own hearts lest we steer away from the path of love, truth and honesty.
Sometimes we conclude and judge others by what we see from their actions. We inadvertently or are too hasty in passing judgement on another's action - considering it good or bad depending on our relationship with that person.
The Gospel today also reminds us - that inasmuch as we use our senses to make judgements about others, we also need to be cautious and recognize that perhaps the actions we observe may not always be reflective of the intentions of the individual. In matters of the heart, only the person and his God knows.
But we also need to understand from this Gospel that Jesus loves the Pharisee enough not only to die for Him but to correct him as well. Love is not blind to error or sin. It does not ignore one’s faults or even one’s sins. The Lover is allowed to correct the beloved and leaves room to be corrected himself or herself.
To respect the seriousness of life of others who think in a different way from us, can facilitate today dialogue which is so necessary and difficult. I invite you to reflect on this question throughout the day; How do I practice dialogue in the family, in work, the church, and in the community?