Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Daily - 10/13/09

Luke 11:37-46 - these are the gospel readings for today and tomorrow. Today is 37-41, tomorrow is 42-46. This all immediately follows Luke's version of the Sermon on the Mount.

37 After he had spoken, a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home. He entered and reclined at table to eat.

38 The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal.

39 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.

40 You fools! Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside?

41 But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you.

42 Woe to you Pharisees! You pay tithes of mint and of rue and of every garden herb, but you pay no attention to judgment and to love for God. These you should have done, without overlooking the others.

43 Woe to you Pharisees! You love the seat of honor in synagogues and greetings in marketplaces.

44 Woe to you! You are like unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk."

45 Then one of the scholars of the law said to him in reply, "Teacher, by saying this you are insulting us too."

46 And he said, "Woe also to you scholars of the law! You impose on people burdens hard to carry, but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them.

The harshest dialogue that is recorded from Christ is reserved for the religious leaders of the time -- the Scribes, Pharisees, and teachers of the law. Over time, they had become so obsessed with the Law (ie, the old covenant Law laid out in Numbers, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy), that they had no sight of what is truly important. It had become more important to look pious and act pious than to actually be pious.

I think it's worth noting that many folks out there have this very complaint about Catholics. They say that we are good about following rules, but miss the boat when it comes to truly having a relationship with Christ. We have great tradition, we have the sacraments, we have ancient rituals with much meaning behind them, but at times we can appear like we've put the cart before the horse.

I try to think from that perspective as I consider this passage. I'm not a Scribe or Pharisee, so I'm not one of the people that Christ is speaking directly to here. That said, it is more important that I actually have a true devotion to to Christ than to look like I have one. It is more important that I address the inside of my cup -- the part that only Christ and I can see --- than the outside of my cup that everyone else can see.

I have found that the more I allow God to transform the inside of my cup, the more Christ's light can shine through me.