Inner Beauty and Charity from the Heart

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The WORD in other words (2016) by Sister Frances Grace Solis, S.Sp.S. (CHS, Tarlac)

Tuesday 21st Week in Ordinary Time

Image source: wikimedia commons / Heart-shaped bokeh by Iouri Goussev

The importance of inner beauty, pure motivation and charity from the heart, more than an outward show, is central to today’s Gospel. Jesus condemns the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law who “meticulously clean the outside of the cup and dish” but inwardly are full of “what they have gotten by violence and selfishness”. For Jesus, what really counts is love from the heart, manifested in the good works for one’s neighbor.

We have modern-day Pharisees too (myself included) like those told in the Gospel. Thanks be to God, we still have the chance to examine ourselves and amend our lives. On reflection, God made me what I am and gave me what I have. How is my gratitude to Him manifested?  Do I faithfully use for Him and the mission his gifts to me? Is there an area in my life where I do not acknowledge his sovereignty? 

May I strive to be guided by what the Holy Scriptures say: “There is nothing that can be hid from God; everything in all creation is exposed and lies open before His eyes.” Heb. 4:13; “…He will bring to light the dark secrets and expose the hidden purposes of people’s minds.”1 Cor. 4: 5;”…The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” – 1 Sam. 16:7. 

The Church remembers today St. Rose of Lima, the patroness of Latin America and the secondary patroness of the Philippines. She did not glory in her physical beauty. Her inner beauty was exemplary: a life of charity especially to the poor and the sick, and she did acts of mortification to please God. May St. Rose of Lima, pray for us.

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