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Are You Clean?

First Reading: Galatians 5:1-6

Brothers and sisters:
For freedom Christ set us free;
so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.

It is I, Paul, who am telling you
that if you have yourselves circumcised,
Christ will be of no benefit to you.
Once again I declare to every man who has himself circumcised
that he is bound to observe the entire law.
You are separated from Christ,
you who are trying to be justified by law;
you have fallen from grace.
For through the Spirit, by faith, we await the hope of righteousness.
For in Christ Jesus,
neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything,
but only faith working through love.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 119:41, 43, 44, 45, 47, 48

R. (41a) Let your mercy come to me, O Lord.
Let your mercy come to me, O LORD,
your salvation according to your promise.
R. Let your mercy come to me, O Lord.
Take not the word of truth from my mouth,
for in your ordinances is my hope.
R. Let your mercy come to me, O Lord.
And I will keep your law continually,
forever and ever.
R. Let your mercy come to me, O Lord.
And I will walk at liberty,
because I seek your precepts.
R. Let your mercy come to me, O Lord.
And I will delight in your commands,
which I love.
R. Let your mercy come to me, O Lord.
And I will lift up my hands to your commands
and meditate on your statutes.
R. Let your mercy come to me, O Lord.

Gospel: Luke 11:37-41

After Jesus had spoken,
a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home.
He entered and reclined at table to eat.
The Pharisee was amazed to see
that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal.
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.
You fools!
Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside?
But as to what is within, give alms,
and behold, everything will be clean for you.”

NAB

oct-11

To which part of our bodies is our attention to cleanliness? And, if we’ve acknowledged that it’s the outside, will its cleanliness ever be enough to override the filth inside?

God cares about our souls. Yes, taking care of ourselves is important. And, I’ll admit that when I try to keep my outside clean and presentable (and sometimes even going the extra mile for the special occasion), I typically feel better. Yet, when my insides pain me because of sin, there is nothing I can do to my outsides that pulls me from those feelings of despair.

The funny thing is, it takes a lot more work to pretty our insides. But, we never have to do it alone. In fact, we cannot do it all alone.

“. . . [A]s to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you.” By the power of His mercy, and the grace He bestows in the Sacraments, we are made clean as often as we seek to be.

Today is the feast of Saint Damien, a priest who spent his life tending to the “unclean,” the “filthy” in the eyes of the world. Those deemed untouchable by society were the very people Saint Damien sought to help. My guess is that he could see through the outsides of those lepers, into the inner chambers of their souls, where the only cleanliness that matters shown brightly.

[bctt tweet=”Just as you are made clean, I imagine the outsides will sing of the beauty of your soul.” username=”blessedisshe__”]

Do you feel untouchable? Are you having a day when examining the depths of your insides and coming clean again seems unfathomable? If you are, take a minute to reflect on our Psalm, and slowly say the words, “Let your mercy come to me, O Lord.” He will not forsake you. His mercy will flow, and as He has promised, He will make you clean again.

And just as you are made clean, I imagine the outsides, which He made too, will sing of the beauty of your soul.

Britt Fisk is the wife of Jeremy and mother of five young kids.  She spends her days living simply in the-middle-of-nowhere-New Mexico helping with the family beef cattle operation. You can find out more about her here.

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