After Jesus had spoken,
a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home.
He entered and reclined at table to eat.
The Pharisee was amazed to see
that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal.
The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees!
Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish,
inside you are filled with plunder and evil.
Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside?
But as to what is within, give alms,
and behold, everything will be clean for you.” (Lk 11:37-41)
We do many thing in our lives. Some are good and proper, some are not so good. The reasons we do many things in life? Most often, so that we can get ahead.
We spend an inordinate amount of time looking out for ourselves and judging others along the way. We make up all sorts of rules for others to abide by in order to make our lives easier. In short, we often act like the Pharisees in today’s Gospel passage.
We spend so much time looking at our world and applying our standards to it that we fail to look deep within. If we did, we might not like what we see. Perhaps that is why we do not spend a lot of time in introspection.
But, Jesus told the Pharisees, there is a “fix”: “Give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you.”
That is not to say that if we give, we do not have to do anything else. However, one of the great mysteries of life is that giving changes the giver, not just the recipient.
When we give, we begin to see the needs of others. We are more prone to prioritize the needs of others. We begin to care what happens to others. We become less selfish and more selfless.
There are others in need today. They are all around us. Are we willing to respond to their need?
FAITH ACTION: Have you been asked to give and refused to help? Reconsider the request and see if you can lend a hand.