Clean Inside and Out

27 August 2019. Memorial of Saint Monica

Reflection (Sem. Carmelo V. Pocdol)

I am certain that cleanliness is taught and learned first and foremost at home and then re-enforced at school. And that I know and follow later on of the saying, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”. Top in the list of our usual daily chores is to clean our bedroom, living room, etc. I remember that in my elementary days, when I have to participate in cleaning the classroom everyday, either in scrubbing the floor or cleaning the garden. Those daily routines of cleaning have imbibed in me the importance of cleanliness.

Raising that experience to spiritual aspect of my life, it would be of the same importance, being conscious of cleanliness not just of our external aspect but most importantly of interior self or of ones with-in.

Today’s Gospel speaks about how Jesus wanted to see our own hearts. He taught in the Gospel how to be his disciples who speak to men not just the right things to do, but above all, the reason of doing the things right. He warned us to be honest within ourselves and in our dealing with other people. Doing the things right means doing them according to the will of God. In such a way, there is no inconsistency of doing things and the purpose of doing it. Otherwise, one will fall to hypocrisy, an attitude among us that Jesus have bluntly denounced. What I think of a simple antidote to hypocrisy is the sense of cleanliness – both inside and outside of one’s heart and mind.

In  seminary formation, we give premium on doing the right things and doing the things right. It is a good practice of doing the things that are expected of me as a seminarian and hopefully a priest in the future.

The Gospel Today

Matthew 23: 23 – 26

Jesus said:
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You pay tithes of mint and dill and cummin,
and have neglected the weightier things of the law:
judgment and mercy and fidelity.
But these you should have done, without neglecting the others.
Blind guides, who strain out the gnat and swallow the camel!

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites.
You cleanse the outside of cup and dish,
but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence.
Blind Pharisee, cleanse first the inside of the cup,
so that the outside also may be clean.”

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