Jesus invites us to learn from him, for he is meek and humble of heart. We show that we are true or false disciples by what comes out from inside our hearts.
The Pharisees and the scribes question the religious observance of Jesus’ disciples. And he, who knows what is inside everyone’s heart, answers the inquisitors right away. He calls them hypocrites, for they honor God with their lips, but their hearts are far from him. And their religion is false, since they put human traditions and rules above God’s commandments.
In other words, the Pharisees and scribes are whitewashed tombs, beautiful on the outside. But inside they are full of dead people’s bone and filth. The Pharisees and scribes appear righteous on the outside. Inside, however, they are full of hypocrisy and malice.
So then, as Jesus makes clear later, what is crucial is what is in our hearts. From there come things that tell whether we belong to him or not.
And they belong to Jesus, for sure, those who do nothing out of selfishness or in order to show off. Humble of heart, they see others as more important than themselves. They are not at all like those who come inquiring with malice. These ones only want to show that they are above those who do not keep the traditions of the elders. And they are jockeying for positions of power.
Moreover, the meekness inside those who belong to Jesus shows itself in their approachability. The words that come from inside them cleanse and soothe. A good word, from the heart is enough to bring to God even the most annoying (SV.EN X:268). Their words unite rather than divide, even when they call a spade a spade. Of course, they do not lie to keep hiding the evil inside.
Jesus’ own, then, look out for others’ interests. Their religion is pure: they care for those in need; the world of greed, oppression and exploitation does not defile them.
Lord Jesus, you give your body up and shed your blood for us. Make us receive you. Otherwise, we will not have life inside us.
2 September 2018
22nd Sunday in O.T. (B)
Dt 4, 1-2. 6-8; Jas 1, 17-18. 21b-22. 27; Mk 7, 1-8. 14-15. 21-23