Daily Office Readings for Monday of Proper 12: Year 2
Morning, Psalms 56 and 57; Evening, Psalms 64 and 65;
Joshua 24:16-33; Romans 16:1-16; Matthew 27: 24-31
“So when Pilate saw that he could do nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took some water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, ‘I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.’ Then the people as a whole answered, ‘His blood be on us and on our children!’ So he released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.” (Matthew 27: 24 – 26)
Pilate washed his hands, but his heart was still filthy. He had our Lord Jesus beaten before being handed over to be crucified. However, a literal interpretation of this translation implies that Pilate himself whipped Jesus. Most readers (myself included) would assume that Pilate had his soldiers do the dirty work. In any case, Pilate re-soiled his “baptized” hands. Dirty hearts make dirty hands.
The opening prayer for Sunday Holy Eucharist says it all; “Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen” (BCP 355). We must first want our hearts focused on wanting good for ourselves and others. It may be that we need help even wanting to think good. Therefore, we ask the Holy Spirit of God to cleanse the thoughts of our hearts. There is too much hate and evil taking place in the world; just watch the news. Our hands and words follow our hearts. Brushing our teeth and washing our hands won’t help if our hearts are soiled. Let us want to heed the Holy Spirit of God and love and care for one another.
Let us also continue to hold Ukraine in our prayers. I pray for them to have peace.
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