God doesn’t care about anyone’s background. You don’t have to have any kind of “pedigree” to give your life to Christ. St. Paul puts it like this in today’s first reading: “For in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.”
In today’s Gospel reading from Luke 11, Jesus begins a diatribe against the Pharisees. “Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. You fools! Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside?” Of course, Jesus was not talking about cups and dishes. He was talking about their lives, their hearts. The pretty stuff on the outside didn’t match what was on the inside.
How I can so relate to this! I’m sure this doesn’t happen to you, but so often I find myself putting on airs. On the outside I’m all sunshine and roses, but on the inside I’m a seething volcano, filled with lava and venom. While on one hand this is not such a bad thing, in that I can most of the time control the bad stuff from coming out. On the down side, it will eventually come out. If only I could get the inside to match up with the outside. The thing is, I can’t do that at all. But I can be open to the Holy Spirit, and allowing the Spirit to do some repair work in there. Pray for me, that that is exactly what will happen.
Father, forgive us for the many times when the outside doesn’t match up with the inside. Help us be open to the cleansing fire of your Holy Spirit. Amen.