Daily Gospel Reflection for August 26, 2014

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Today’s Gospel: Matthew 23:23-26

Jesus tells us that we must first cleanse the inside of the cup so that the outside also may be clean. When we wash the dishes, we must be sure to wash them both inside and out. We can scrub the outside of the cups until they’re squeaky, but it doesn’t do us any good if we leave the inside dirty. In fact, it can even do us harm. Mold and bacteria can grow and make us sick when next we use that cup. 

But, Jesus isn’t talking about physical dishes in today’s Gospel; he’s talking about spiritual ones. Jesus is talking about our souls, housed within our bodies, both of which are a gift from God. Our bodies can be as clean, fit, well-dressed, and attractive as we want, but it won’t help one bit if we allow our souls to build up the mold of apathy or the bacteria of sinfulness.

The Pharisees were always clean on the outside in the way they cared for themselves, dressed, and acted. But on the inside, they were full of jealousy, deceit, and greed. What was going on on the outside wasn’t what was going on on the inside. 

Just as it was with the Pharisees, people will see through us to what is really inside. And, even if the people around us don’t, Jesus will. And that’s what counts most.

Ponder:

What does the inside of my cup look like in comparison to the outside? Are there “spots” that are resistant to cleaning? What do I need to do to clean them away entirely and permanently?

Pray:

Dear Lord,

You knew exactly what was on the inside of the Pharisees and you know exactly what is on the inside of me. Help me to see myself as you see me so that I can properly cleanse my inner self and become the person you want me to be. Please grant me this grace.

Copyright 2014 Marge Fenelon

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About Author

Marge Fenelon is a longtime contributor to a variety of Catholic and secular publications and author of Waiting with Mary; Advent Reflections for Those Who Hate to Wait, and Ecce Mater Tua - Behold, Your Mother; Marian Stations of the Cross (both self-published), When's God Gonna Show Up? and When's God Gonna Call Me Back? (both published by Liguori Publications). Her latest book, published by Our Sunday Visitor, is Strengthening Your Family: A Catholic Approach to Holiness at Home (2011), the Foreword of which was written by Timothy Cardinal Dolan. She’s a regular guest on Sacred Heart Radio's "Son Rise Morning Show" and has appeared on many others, including "Conversation with the Cardinal" with Cardinal Dolan, Relevant Radio's "Morning Air," and Spirit Catholic Radio's "Inside the Pages." She's an enthusiastic speaker and small group leader, and has invigorated audiences in a variety of venues.

1 Comment

  1. Marge, thank you for your beautiful prayer today. So often, I see the “spots” in others while keeping a “blind eye” to my own dirt. Thank you for the reminder to cleanse from the inside out… You’re in my prayers today.

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