The WORD in Other Words by Fr. Bernard Espiritu, SVD (New Zealand)
Wednesday 28th Week in Ordinary Time
Many are familiar with the old saying, Do not judge the book by its cover! Its value is not in the cover but in its content. Today’s gospel provides insights related to this thought. A Pharisee invited Jesus to dine in his house, which Jesus in turn gracefully accepted. Soon after he sat at table his host criticized him for not having washed his hands. It was in this context that Jesus uttered unhappiness with his host and their group. He called them to value not just the externals but what is essential in life, namely, acumen — the ability to make good judgement, and the love of God.
Much of the wealth in opulent areas of the world have come from underdeveloped countries where raw materials are extracted from their natural resources. Often extractors who have grown rich have left the calloused-hand-workers poor, uneducated, living in precarious conditions and trapped in the vicious cycle of poverty. Have opulent extractors forgotten to care for those whom they have invited to work to augment their wealth?
Jesus’ words addressed to the Pharisees hit hard their failed judgement and love of God – You are like unseen graves over which people unknowingly walk. The Pharisees had lost their worth and the plot. Many today have also lost the plot that the supposedly learned and powerful of this world are a brother’s / sister’s keeper, too.
Lord, help me to achieve right judgement so that I know that what I do affects others around me. Let your Word steer my decisions, and let your presence in the Eucharist give me the courage and strength to bring about goodness together with my brothers and sisters. Let the holy in us remain as windows to your loving Heart.