"You Pharisees! You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but within you are filled with rapaciousness and evil." —Luke 11:39
Would you eat off of a dirty dish? Would you eat food that had fallen on the floor? Would you eat in a restaurant where you know the cook is careless about washing his hands? Most of us are understandably concerned about at least minimal standards of cleanliness.
Jesus warned that we should be much more concerned about interior cleanliness. The same person who is squeamish about eating off a dirty dish may be unconcerned about being "filled with rapaciousness and evil" (Lk 11:39). A person who would never drink unfiltered water may be on the "inside full of filth and dead men's bones" (Mt 23:27). A person who would feel uncomfortable if he didn't brush his teeth daily may be on "the inside filled with loot and lust" (Mt 23:25). People who would be embarrassed to have dirty faces or to smell bad sometimes ignore the "hypocrisy and evil" within them (Mt 23:28).
Do you care that inside you there may be a garbage dump "stinking to high heaven"? If you don't, ask Jesus to allow you to be able to see the true condition of your soul. If you do, go to Confession and pray: "A clean heart create for me, O God" (Ps 51:12).
Prayer: Father, don't just "clean up my act" but clean up my heart.
Promise: Faith "expresses itself through love." —Gal 5:6
Praise: Jesus delivered Felipe from an addiction to drugs and from gang warfare.
Nihil obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, April 4, 1998
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 8, 1998
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