Daily Office Readings for Thursday of the second week of Advent: Year 2
‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup,so that the outside also may become clean.” (Matthew 23:25 – 26)
(Edited and republished from December 12, 2019)
In this session of warnings Jesus tells those of us, who will listen, that if we clean the inside of our selves the outside will become clean as well.
What makes itself manifest on the outside, particularly in behavior and actions, starts in the heart and mind of the person. As I occasionally conduct pre-marital counseling, I have the engaged couple raise many questions about the other. I don’t want to know the results that they come up with (unless of course the wedding is off). I just want to know that they have addressed the issues. So I have them to have conversations around money and what it means; around education; around concerns of faith (particularly if they are of different faith backgrounds), around children (natural or adopted). I have them discuss concerns of sex and intimacy; and lately I ask about social media and each other’s friends in general. Sometime I think I’m unconsciously trying to get them to rethink getting married at all.
The reality is, I am trying to get them to see what’s inside of the other. Is the other’s cup clean on the inside? Is your cup clean on the inside? This question goes further than just marriage proposals. We need to ponder these questions with all whom we hold close, family, business, Church, fraternity, sorority or whatever. We need to take it home and ask ourselves these types of questions. But there is hope. Our Lord Jesus says that if we clean the inside of our cup the outside will be clean as well.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John