A Pharisee was surprised that Jesus hadn't washed Himself before eating dinner (Lk 11:38). The Pharisees had a complicated series of ablutions they performed before dinner (Lk 11:38), including a ritualistic washing of the fingers using a certain set of motions. Jesus obviously didn't follow their formula.
Though Jesus hadn't washed before dinner, He surely had prayed before dinner. Jesus prayed constantly, often rising early in the morning to pray (Mk 1:35).
Many of us would be ashamed to appear in public without properly washing ourselves. Yet would we be ashamed of the Gospel in public? (see Rm 1:16)
We wouldn't go to a meeting with our boss or a dinner with friends without being all washed up. Would we likewise face a secular world without being all prayed up?
What were the first five things you did this morning? Was one of them washing? Was one of them praying? We too often skip the prayer, but rarely do we skip the washing.
Which is more important?
Prayer: Jesus, You see my inside while the world sees my outside (Lk 11:40). May I care far more about pleasing You than pleasing the world.
Promise: "I am not ashamed of the gospel. It is the power of God leading everyone who believes in it to salvation." —Rm 1:16
Praise: St. Teresa often sat at the feet of Jesus in prayer. God gifted her with the ability to hear His voice. She prayed daily for the coming of the Holy Spirit in her life, and devoted a great amount of energy to instructing others to hear God in prayer.
(This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from October 1, 2013 through November 30, 2013. †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 22, 2013.
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.