Today’s Gospel: Luke 11:37-41
I have a bad, bad, bad tendency to not ever invite people over to my house. You see, I hate to clean. More than that, I don’t consider that I’m good at cleaning, or that I’ll ever have things clean enough.
So it happens that the only people who end up coming to my home are people who I feel like won’t judge me for what I think is a tendency toward sloppiness.
I don’t host family gatherings with the in-laws. My own family doesn’t really come over. We aren’t very social people, so there aren’t many cookouts or friends hanging out at our place.
One of my friends, when I was mentioning feeling torn between the fact that my house is clean enough and the observation that a lot of other people I know spend all their waking time cleaning, complimented me on this. “You have a way of knowing when to stop, Sarah, and how to rest.”
I don’t know that I agree with her on that, but it made me appreciate that how my house looks isn’t indicative of whether I’m worthy to host parties or friends.
In the same way, how I act isn’t necessarily indicative of my interior state. In today’s Gospel, Jesus criticizes the Pharisees for something I’m way too familiar with: focusing on the outside instead of the inside.
The Pharisees were so worried about the ceremonial washings, they neglected the love and mercy that were the reason for the ceremony. They were honed in on how things appeared instead of seeing the way things really were.
Once again, I find myself begging God to make me less a Pharisee!
When do you find yourself focusing on the external aspects of a situation to the detriment of the interior state (for example, of your soul)? What prayer or penance might you offer today in reparation for this?
Jesus, you had a way of cutting to the chase and making things clear. Would that I heed your wisdom and turn my mind and heart to what matters (as opposed to the silly little pile of goldfish on the floor in the middle of the living room).
Copyright 2016 Sarah Reinhard
When she’s not chasing kids, chugging coffee, or juggling work, Sarah Reinhard’s usually trying to stay up read just one…more…chapter. You can find her online at SnoringScholar.com.