Saturday 27 August 2016

Tuesday of 28th week Mardi de la 28e semaine

’Instead give alms for what you have and look, everything will be clean for you.’

Ga. 5,1-6 Ps.118 Lk.11,37-41

Tuesday of 28th week even numbered year

“Jesus had just finished speaking when a Pharisee invited him to dine at his house. He went in and sat down at table. The Pharisee saw this and was surprised that he had not first washed before the meal. But the Lord said to him ’You Pharisees! You clean the outside of cup and plate, while inside yourselves you are filled with extortion and wickedness.”

Jesus takes care of the inner purification of our hearts, whereas the Pharisees insist upon external ritualised purifications. We are not surprised at how Jesus reproaches them, for we can very well feel the danger ourselves of wanting to belong to an elite sheltering behind powerful interests.

The New Covenant is engraved in our hearts, it is a free gift. It gives us back true humility which is harder to exert than purification rituals one can see.

Jesus’ Word is for the present, inviting us to look within our hearts rather than at what our lives appear to be on the outside.

Giving alms is what is needed to take us out of ourselves, turning us toward others, encouraging us to notice our neighbour’s suffering and then trying to relieve it.

And so at the same time we are found close to God, who hides within our sisters and brothers.

All of the purifications the first Covenant brought into place are made relative compared to the new Love which Jesus brings about!

’You purify yourselves from the outside’ said Jesus to the Pharisee who had invited him, but what is more important is the inner life. Jesus wishes to put all ’purifications’ back into their proper place.

"But the Lord said to him ’ Fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside too?’

The Pharisee invites Jesus for a meal.He was curious and needed something more satisfying than the subtitles of the Law. Jesus exposes the changes of how the Pharisee will need to bring about in order to have a real relationship

with the Father. Jesus reminds the Pharisee how never ending rules can throw us into a state of confusion and make people blind. If we adhere to rules in a servile way this can become something of an idolatry, when we use this obedience as a method of glorification of oneself and to oppress other people.

Jesus asks of us to live out of love. The world needs a lot of love to take care of the poor and those who suffer. Jesus invites us to delve into the Love of God that we live out of faith and to root it in our hearts for this is his dwelling place.

The outer practices of ablution must come together with our preparation for the Love of God and our neighbour. Jesus announces a Gift from God which goes from God’s Heart and transforms the human heart.

At the beginning, the Love of God is given to Mary’s heart in order to transform it, it is this love which purifies her at the moment of her conception. Mary is drawn towards God, and is silently at his service. She is all attentive to the One who lives at the very centre of her being.

“Instead , give alms for what you have and, look, everything will be clean for you.”

We need to make a gift of everything we have received from God, so that He can act within us just as He wishes, just as in a home belonging to Him.

Jesus gives himself completely when we give ourselves entirely to Him and to others. God sends us Jesus who gradually increases our capacity through the gifts He proposes to us.

In making a Covenant with God, we make a covenant with the smallest of children of mankind, with Jesus. Through Him, we make a Covenant with all of our sisters and brothers in humanity.

Mary, who bears Jesus n God’s people, prefigures the Church announcing God’s mystery.

When, with a meal, we celebrate God’s Covenant, Jesus manifests in his sacrifice the Love he desires in each one of our lives, in our families.

’Rather give alms from what you have and so everything will be made pure for you.’

What makes us ’impure’ is ’cupidity’ which warps the way we see things and has us see everyone as a rival, then we treat them nastily. All that we selfishly

keep for ourselves is what makes us impure, this blinds us and accuses us before God.

We ask for the grace to be renewed by an ardent charity.