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Daily Mass Reflections - 10/16

Updated on October 12, 2021

“Once the demands of necessity and propriety have been met, the rest of your money belongs to the poor." ~ Pope Leo XIII

“The man who has two shirts in his closet, one belongs to him; the other belongs to the man who has no shirt." ~ Saint John Chrysostom

In today’s Gospel (Luke 11:37-41) we encounter Jesus on the heels of a dining invitation from a member of the Pharisees taking a moment to teach us all a lesson in inner purity and “spiritual cleanliness.” The Pharisee had noticed that Jesus did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal. In what is a recurring theme throughout the four Gospels, Jesus seeks to once again invoke the religious leaders of his time to consider a new way of thinking, one that isn’t so deeply rooted in the stern rigidity of the law but instead in kindness, grace mercy, and love.

Perplexed at his inability to focus and subsequently grasp the bigger picture, Jesus tells him “Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil” going to go say “but as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you.”

The two quotes I led with today are certainly challenging and in many ways fly in the face of the “more is better” message that is so often promoted in our materialistic culture. With Christmas right around the corner, you can rest assured that this message will be blanketed across the airwaves and social media with the relentless ferocity of a December blizzard.

Yet as we strive to live our lives in accordance with the two greatest commandments of them all as taught to us by the Word made Flesh, we come to see the value of a life steeped in charity. The two great commandments are in actuality tightly linked: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart…and love your neighbor as yourself.” This truth is made manifest in the act of almsgiving. As we seek to love God, we slowly begin to actually experience the feelings of God, and God is compassionate to the poor and oppressed. Our hearts must begin to beat to the rhythm of God’s heart; our calling as Christians after all is to become God-like. as we approach this most cherished of seasons, allows the Holy Spirit to serve as your “spiritual pacemaker,” listening for and yearning to do the will of God. As Saint Peter Damian once said, “As the soul is the life of the body, so the Holy Spirit is the life of our souls.”

“Lord God, You came to give honor to the least, those forgotten, overlooked and misjudged. Help us to be your ears to listen to their cries. Help us to be your voice speaking out love and acceptance. Help us to be your feet walking beside those in need. Help us to be your hands to clothe, feed and shelter them.” ~ Amen


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