Giving alms – a pathway to healthy relationships.
Luke 11: 11:37-41
Please open your Scriptures and read these verses prayerfully.
"Man looks at appearance, but God looks into the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7). Jesus could look into people’s hearts and size them up. A Pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him in his home. Strange enough, in that culture, they reserved a meal for family and close friends. Sharing a meal was a sign of intimacy between friends. Perhaps Jesus knew this Pharisee and was happy to oblige.
After the meal started, Jesus disobeyed the ritual washing. That was like a big sin in the eyes of those around the table. Appearances don’t impress Jesus at all. It’s what makes us tick. What is going on inside of us when something happens? What are we thinking and feeling? What will we act on? Will it bring us into the Presence of God, or will we be left to manage on our own?
THE GOSPEL CHALLENGE: Let’s not be shocked by the harsh manner in which Jesus spoke to the Pharisee. "Oh, you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside, you are filled with plunder and evil. You fools!" It is the same tone a mother would tell her toddler if she was going to touch a hot burner on the stove, "Honey, NO!" It’s not anger speaking. It is a deep concern for the child’s wellbeing.
Jesus, the friend, sometimes has to shock us into what is vital to keep our relationships strong and healthy. He knows that a sacrifice of giving over 10% of our time and income to the poor (Almsgiving) puts God and others before ourselves. Our hearts start to move away from pride and self-interest to compassion and mercy. So go out of your way, big time, for someone today. Who will be better off because you did?
IGNITE THE FIRE.
God bless you, my friends.
Fr. Rick Pilger, I.C.