Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Luke (11: 34-41) in which Jesus says ‘you Pharisees clean the outside of cup and plate, while inside yourself you are filled with extortion and wickedness. Fools! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside, too? Instead give alms from what you have and then everything indeed will be clean for you’.
Fr Paul says, in today’s Gospel, we hear the response of the Pharisee when he sees Jesus failing to wash his hands before sitting at the table. Jesus responds by letting the Pharisee know that rather than focus on just the issue of the washing of hands he should also be more concerned about the basic goodness of a person. Hence, Jesus’s reference to the fact that it is not just about what is on the outside of a person but what is also on the inside of a person. We hear the strong rebuke Jesus gives to this Pharisee.
At the end of Luke’s Gospel today, Fr Paul notes, we again hear of the dangers of wealth and possessions. Luke gives these warnings throughout his Gospel again, and again and again. Jesus, at the end of this Gospel, is exhorting the Pharisee to be generous with what he has. We remember the words ‘give alms from what you have and then everything indeed will be clean for you’.
Today for our reflection, Fr Paul says, we might take some time and ponder ‘How generous am I to those around me?’