Gospel of Luke 11:37-41 Reflection:
Jesus makes it quite plain what he thinks of outward show in today’s gospel. Jesus was invited to a meal and went straight in and sat down without first washing his hands; this was an affront to the Pharisees.
Immediately Jesus retorted to their complaints with the statement that it is not while the Pharisees clean the outside, inside they are still filled with greed and corruption. No wonder the Pharisees wanted to kill him!
The Pharisees had a good thing going. They were the rulers of the local people and were looked up to for their knowledge and understanding of the Law. Most of them were relatively well off in a society where abject poverty was the norm; and they had God within their grasp, all they had to do was obey the Law and God would have to accept them. They had no need of justice and right, the observance of the Law made them righteous.
There are so many of us like them today. We observe the rituals of the faith and every now and then we do the odd good work but inside we still hold on to grudges, resentment and hatred, coupled with a fair degree of anger and envy. We still go to Mass and put ourselves forward as upstanding members of the community while secretly looking down on so many members of our community. Like the Pharisees we find it hard to clean the inside of our cup.
When we become aware of these feelings at least we can then try to do something about them.