Tuesday of Week 5 in Ordinary Time
“You put aside the commandment of God to cling to human traditions.”
In today’s Gospel, Jesus cited Isaiah: “This people honours me only with lip-service, while their hearts are far from me. The worship they offer me is worthless, the doctrines they teach are only human regulations.”
If I am honest with myself, then I must admit that sometimes, I am probably one of those people, especially when I think the commandment of God is difficult or challenging to follow. At times, I catch myself more concerned with the appearance of being faithful rather than the actual substance of being faithful.
The best analogy I could come up with is how I wash dishes or bowls. I often wash the outside of the bowls before washing the inside, where the stains are or where food is stuck. When I reflect on this in my spiritual life, am I also more concerned with the appearance, the rituals that lay claim to signs of faithfulness? True, the outside is important, but we should worry about the inside of the bowl first; after all, that directly affects what goes into us and our health. Likewise, we often worry about how we appear religious or faithful by attending church. But during Mass, we sometimes are miles away and not paying attention at all. (I am guilty as charged.) Or claim to be Catholic but don’t really understand the theology, or love God as He deserves to be loved by lovingly and willingly following His commandments. (Guilty again!)
When reflecting on this, I want my inside to be cleaned and healthy, then the glow of Life will show on the outside. So now, when I wash dishes, I make it a habit to wash the side where the food touches first, making sure that is clean, and then I wash the outside. Just to remind myself that I need to be careful about internal faithfulness first, before I worry about the external.
How do you wash your dishes?
(Today’s OXYGEN by Winnie Kung)
Prayer: Dear Lord, create in us a clean heart, a heart that loves God to the full and not just with lip service. May the grace of faithfulness be granted to us through the same Christ, our Lord.
Thanksgiving: We thank you that despite our shortcomings, that Your patience and love prevail. Thank you for correcting our erroneous ways.