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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Cleanliness and Almsgiving

Today's Readings: Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 11,37-41.
 After he 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. You fools! 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.
No, the Lord is not selling his holiness by almsgiving, but he is pointing out something we often neglect (I know I do): the need to give. A life devoted to avoiding sin is not holy in comparison to a life devoted to giving for the sake of the gospel. Christ offers a challenge beyond piety: to give and give generously in LOVE, for love is to be held of the highest esteem. A clean cup is nice, but one that is full of good wine that is ever ready to pour out for others is even better. The cup is of God, the wine comes from God, and the invitation to pour ourselves out comes from God. Let us cling to his grace and acquiesce to holy inspirations.

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