Tuesday of the 28th Week of the Year

Luke 11:37-41

Denunciation of the Pharisees and Scholars of the Law


Jesus shows in today’s gospel that true cleanliness comes not from outside but from the heart. Religious practices spring from love of God. If done to impress others, they count for nothing in God’s eyes. So let us ask ourselves: Are our external actions fruits of our relationship with God? Are they expressions of our eagerness to do His will? (Sr. Vilam Puzon, SSpS Bible Diary 2002)


Last year, when the spread of the SARS was at its worst, the Archdiocese of Manila took precautionary steps to protect the faithful. It recommended that the reception of Holy Communion be done by hand not by mouth. For many of us priests it was a welcome gesture. The giving of Holy Communion on the hand was not only a lot easier but more hygienic.

In the gospel, the Pharisees and scholars of the law denounced Jesus for non-observance of the prescribed washing before meals not because of hygienic purposes but mainly because it was a religious law. Apparently, theirs was for a sacred and noble reason. However, Jesus in turn denounced their hypocrisy by emphasizing the importance of interior cleanliness over and above any manifestation of religiosity. Jesus saw the “plunder and evil” that filled the hearts of his accusers.

Can you distinguish the essentials and nonessentials in the practice of your religion?

After Vatican II are their religious are there religious practices that should be abolished, changed or restored? (Fr. Ed Fugoso, SVD Bible Diary 2004)


Substance over form. Outside appearances do not really matter, what matters is what is inside your heart. The Pharisees were scolded by Jesus for not being wise enough to see that the trappings of culture and earthly treasures are mere decorations for mortals to appreciate but they amount to nothing in heaven if they are not used to alleviate the plight of the poor and the needy.

The likes of the Pharisees exist up to the present in all sectors of society (if not in all of us), be it in the exercise of politics, religion and the ordinary day-to-day involvement with one another. It is however difficult to read behind appearances of office, knowledge and eloquence which can easily mask questionable intentions. Ultimately, sincerity and integrity is our personal call and judgment. However, sometimes the insincerity leaks, the incongruence transparent.

Human intentions are not totally and absolutely pure. But as long as the welfare of the other, or the public in general, is uppermost in the range of intentions and foremost in execution, “Behold, everything will be clean for you,” as the last verse of the gospel says. Constant loving, both in thought and action, is a progressive purification by the “maker of both outside and inside.”

Which is more important cleans hands or clean hearts? Outside appearance or innermost thoughts and feelings? God points to a deeper, more meaningful expression of love and compassion by extending our hands generously to the poor and the needy. (Fr. Titus Mananzan, SVD Bible Diary 2007)


The gospel presents to us once more an encounter between Jesus and a Pharisee. As usual, the Pharisee was very observant and he was trying to discover any violation Jesus would do against their laws.  Sure indeed the Pharisee discovered one: Jesus did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal. This was a violation of a ceremonial law. But Jesus must have done it intentionally with the purpose of reaching the Pharisee the importance of being transparent with their lives. This simply means that Jesus is urging us to practice consistency in our lives. Our outward selves must reflect our inner selves. Our actions must express what is inside us.

We must never follow the Pharisee in the gospel who was very religious in following the ceremonial law of cleansing his hands yet missing the very important part of cleansing his heart. Cleansing our hearts demand renewal which consists in throwing away whatever is evil inside us. In other words we must turn away from our sinfulness and make ourselves closer to God. With this we can say that whatever we do or say is a fruit of our love for God and for our brothers and sisters. (Fr. Jingjing Rocha, SVD Bible Diary 2009)


October 11, 2016 Tuesday

Some people seem to enjoy nothing but unreasonable questioning and criticism. They are gloomy grumblers, finding faults everywhere; specialists of destruction whom everyone wishes to avoid. Such are the Pharisees whom Jesus encounters in the Gospel but not avoid. In fact he even accepts their invitation to a meal, even knowing that conflict is ahead. Kind and compassionate, Jesus never rejects any person. With strong words he corrects the Pharisees, making it clear to them that he does not agree with their idea of justice and interpretation of God’s law. It’s one thing to talk about God and sacred things; it’s another to live out what we hear and believe. Only true love can teach us what is right or wrong. The law does not have the power to command us internally; only love does.  It’s time to test our own critic. Do we have something in common with the Pharisees?

If we truly love our brothers and sisters, our critic will be a blessing, but if our critic comes from envy, jealousy, hatred and narrow-mindedness, then we are like the Pharisees, specialists of destruction, leaving behind us only ruins. A healthy positive critic is necessary for a vital human life in community. It’s for a paralyzed society like a cold shower that stimulates the flow of blood in the body so it can receive fresh strength and life. It’s like a gardener’s knife that mercilessly cuts away all that has grown wild or dried up, so the tree can freely breathe and grow again.

Let us find creative ways to become more understanding, more compassionate and forgiving and ask the Lord to deliver us from being a “fault- finders fraternity” instead of a life-giving community where everyone can feel at home. (Sr. Marty Meyer, S.Sp.S. | Convent of the Holy Spirit, Quezon, City Bible 2016)



SOLID INSIDE: We reflect today on the majesty of the temple of Jerusalem. It was not only the temple that was majestic. The whole kingdom was fantastic. The whole kingdom was fabulous and had an equally fabulous king, King Solomon. Such was his renown that that even the Queen of Sheba went to pay respects to the fantastic king named Solomon.

In spite of the fabulousness and the majesty of the kingdom it did not take long before that the kingdom became divided and began to crumble.

The greatness of the kingdom does not depend on what the eyes can see or on majestic structures wonderful to behold. It depends on the strength of the spirit and the heart. It is not what is outside that can make a nation strong.

This is what the gospel says. It is not what comes from outside that makes us dirty it is what comes from inside that makes us sinful.

We bring it down to our nation. The kingdom of Solomon was fantastic, majestic and fabulous,. It crumbled because it was not rooted in spirituality and morality. In the gospel, the Lord wants us to be careful of externals because it is not the externals that make a person holy. It is what comes from the heart that makes us pleasing to God. What kind of a nation are we building? What kind of a family are we raising up? What kind of a church are we establishing? Are we sure we are grounded in morality and in spirituality? (Socrates Villegas, Jesus in my Heart, p. 36)



October 16, 2012

St. Hedwig, religious
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, virgin

Tuesday of the 28th Week

Gal 5:1-6
Ps 119
Lk 11:37-41

Lk 11:37-41
Denunciation of the Pharisees 

37After [Jesus] had spoken, a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home. He entered and reclined at table to eat. 38The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal. 39The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. 40You fools! Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside? 41But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you.”


Prescribed washing. For devout Jews, it is a customary ceremony to wash cups and dishes before eating. Besides the hygienic reason, washing for them has a cultic or spiritual dimension. It indicates an external holiness that God requires from his people.

But here Jesus dispenses with this prescribed ritual washing which he considers as meaningless and empty. Jesus wants people to cleanse their interior life instead. It is necessary to purify one’s soul, not only to wash the externals. Inner cleansing demands conversion, getting rid of hypocrisy, dishonesty, and pretensions. It involves God’s works of love and mercy translated into action.

The Gospel calls us to harmonize our inner attitudes with our external actions. As we hear the word of God, let us work it into our lives. As we pray, let us practice what we say and pray. As we know God’s commandments, let us observe them and live by them.

Are you clean inside and out?



Monday, October 12, 2015

TUESDAY OF THE 28TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – LUKAS 11:37-41. UNSA MAY MAS MAHINUNGDANON – ANG LIMPYO NGA MGA KAMOT O ANG LIMPYO NGA HUNAHUNA UG KASINGKASING? Sa pagpangaon, importante ang limpyo nga mga kamot; apan sa tanang panahon, mahinungdanon ang limpyo nga hunahuna ug kasingkasing. Dili kita angay’ng manundog sa mga Pariseo nga kanunay nagbaton og daotang hunahuna ug pagbati ngadto sa uban. Kini nga kinaiya maghatag og kadaot sa atong espiritu ug makahimo natong mapahitas-on, madinumtanon, ug masinahon. Si Kristo naghatag og dakong pagtagad sa pangsulod sa tawo tungod kay kini maoy tuboran sa maayong kinaiya ug binuhatan. Adunay nag-ingon: “Pure heart is the greatest temple in the world. Don’t believe the smiling face. But believe in the smiling heart. It is very rare in this world.” Posted by Abet Uy



Monday, October 10, 2016

TUESDAY OF THE 28TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME – LUKAS 11:37-41. UNSA MAY MAS MAHINUNGDANON – ANG LIMPYO NGA MGA KAMOT O ANG LIMPYO NGA HUNAHUNA UG KASINGKASING? Sa pagpangaon, importante ang limpyo nga mga kamot; apan sa tanang panahon, mahinungdanon ang limpyo nga hunahuna ug kasingkasing. Dili kita angay’ng manundog sa mga Pariseo nga kanunay nagbaton og daotang hunahuna ug pagbati ngadto sa uban. Kini nga kinaiya maghatag og kadaot sa atong espiritu ug makahimo natong mapahitas-on, madinumtanon, ug masinahon. Si Kristo naghatag og dakong pagtagad sa pangsulod sa tawo tungod kay kini maoy tuboran sa maayong kinaiya ug binuhatan. Sakto ang giiingon: “Beauty is not about having the fairest skin or the prettiest face; it’s about having the purest heart. So, don’t take mirrors too seriously. Your true reflection is in your heart.” Posted by Abet Uy




28th Week, Ordinary Time, Tuesday, 13-10-15

Romans 1:16-25 / Luke 11:37-41

To say that someone behaved worse than an animal is certainly very derogatory and utterly insulting.

Scripture tells us that human beings are made in the image of God and hence human beings are way above the other creatures on earth.

Human beings are endowed with intellect and will, with reason and freedom of choice, so that we can truly live up to our dignity and walk the ways of God and be holy in all that we do.

But the history of mankind is splattered with immorality and atrocities of almost every imaginable kind, such that it can be said that mankind at times have behaved worse than animals.

St. Paul would say this in the 1st reading: That is why such people are without excuse. They knew God and yet refused to acknowledge Him as God or thank Him. They made nonsense out of logic and their empty minds were darkened. With their filthy enjoyments and practices they dishonour their own bodies since they have given up divine truth for a lie and have worshipped and served creatures instead of the Creator.

Yes, we desire some creature comforts but those desires can slowly turn into pleasures of the flesh and then the corruption, the impiety and the depravity on the outside,  will keep the truth imprisoned within and locked up by wickedness.

And that is also the warning of Jesus in today’s gospel passage – You clean the outside of cup and plate, while inside yourselves you are filled with extortion and wickedness.

And then Jesus also said this – Did not He who made the outside make the inside too?

Hence, what we do is an expression of what we are and what we believe in.

We believe in God who is the source of all truth and good, holiness and beauty. Let what we believe in be expressed by what we do and how we behave. Posted by Rev Fr Stephen Yim



Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Reflection for October 13, Tuesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 11:37-41

Reflection: What do we do when we invite people to dine in our house? Of course we discreetly observe them especially if our invited guest are few the more that we observe them. We sometimes pretend to be busy but we still observe them quietly.

However, amidst our observation Jesus wants to tell us something: let us not judge them based on their external behavior. Because our judgment based on what we see do not really represent who they really are. There’s a whole lot more that we could discover from our fellowmen if we would not be quick on judging them.

It feeds our ego when we are noticed based on our external appearance: What we do, the clothes that we wear, our physical appearance etc. The more that we are noticed the more that we will reinforce our external actions. These are all superficial, before God these egocentric actions count for nothing before the eyes of God.

What counts before God are those that are not seen by our eyes. What counts before Him is what is inside us not what is outside of us. Those that are not seen such as: a pure conscience, a caring, forgiving and loving heart and a mind that has no place for ill thoughts.

Perhaps, the Pharisee in our gospel invited Jesus to his house not out of his goodwill and kindness. He invited Jesus because he wants to see if Jesus would subscribe to the many rituals of their Jewish faith.

Are we not like the Pharisee? When friends come to our house we also observe them as to how they would behave. And based on what we saw we will now conjure our unfavourable conclusion towards them.

But our judgment is often wrong for we don’t know the heart of the person and besides it’s hard to judge based solely on the few times that we’ve observed them. Let us not judge quickly and let us not judge based on what we see.

Are you quick to judge? – Marino J. Dasmarinas



Monday, October 10, 2016

Reflection for Tuesday October 11, Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 11:37-41

Maria is very particular with external appearance she would always dress well. The exterior of her house was always refreshing to the eyes. Her neighbor was wondering how come she’s able to afford such luxuries considering that she had no job to speak of?

One morning a rich woman was shouting in front of her house telling her to leave her husband alone otherwise she would be forced to bring her to court for having a relationship with a married man.

Many of us are very particular with what others will see from us. As much as possible we would always try to paint an attractive picture of ourselves. This is who many of us are, very much driven with the exterior, fleeting and those that do not last for a lifetime.

Jesus is not taken with this show of misleading exterior appearance. What counts for Jesus is our attitude most especially when nobody sees us. For example, how do we react when we see a poor in front of our house. Do we do something to help the poor? Or we simply don’t care; anyway no one is looking at us, so might as well not mind the poor.

Jesus knows everything about us, we cannot keep anything from Him. He knows our hidden secrets, our double talk and the façade that we try so very hard to display so that we could create an impression of wealth and extravagance. – Marino J. Dasmarinas



THE LETTER AND THE SPIRIT OF GOD’S LAW – In today’s Gospel, we feel the tense relationship between Jesus and the religious authority of His time. But in spite of the tension, there was a certain familiarity between Jesus and the Pharisees. Invited to eat at their house, Jesus accepts the invitation but He sat at the table without washing His hands. The Pharisee was surprised that Jesus did not observe this religious rule.

The Pharisees were actually good people, but they had forgotten that the spirit of the Law was more important than the letter of the Law, something Jesus wanted to make clear.

St. Paul, a former Pharisee, wrote to the Corinthians: “The letter kills; the spirit gives life.”

In spite of their legalistic attitude, we should not condemn the Pharisees. They were serious people. They dedicated eight hours every day to study and to meditate on the Law of God, another eight hours to work in order to support their family, and the other eight hours to rest. This serious witness of their life gave them a great respect.

Perhaps because of this, in spite of the fact of being totally different, both Jesus and the Pharisees understood one another.

The passage makes us aware that, in order to be faithful to what God asks of us, it is not sufficient to observe the letter of the law. It is in how we practice love that the fullness of the law is attained. “It is love alone that gives worth to all things,” St. Teresa of Avila wrote.

At times we may be tempted to fall into the “Pharisaic” trap. If we justify ourselves by obedience to the law and neglect the greatest commandment — the commandment of love — we will not be pleasing to God. Without realizing it, we might sit at the table of Jesus on the side of the Pharisees. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD

REFLECTION QUESTION: Are you aware that love of neighbor is more important than strict obedience of the law?

Lord, at times it is easier to obey a law than to reach out in love to a neighbor in need. May Your example inspire me for the rest of my life and help me to become more loving.



IT’S THE HEART THAT MATTERS – The Pharisee was not a totally bad person. For one, he was hospitable. He invited the Lord to dinner at home. He was a gracious host. He knew how to mind his p’s and q’s. He had manners. He knew the rules. He had class. He showed the right etiquette for the occasion.

But he was focused on something more than crossing his t’s. I don’t know whether he invited the Lord solely to test his manners, but I could assume he was on the lookout to see whether the Lord was prim and proper. And it did not have to do with worldly issues like table manners alone.

He was there to check whether the Lord was obedient enough to what the law prescribed. From the unnamed Pharisee’s point of view, the Lord was weighed and found wanting. Luke, who reports the story, was politically correct and rather conciliatory when he used the word “amazed” to describe how the Pharisee reacted at seeing his guest fail to comply with the prescribed washing before eating.

We are like that Pharisee. We observe much of the conventional rules — something not bad in itself, except that we are preoccupied about looking over our shoulders to see who in our midst does not seem to make the cut.

But of course, it is not that those who get the prescribed cut (circumcision) automatically becomes the righteous one, through and through. Men (and especially Pharisees) might look at the externals, but God definitely looks at the heart, at what’s within. To use Paul’s own words, it is not externals that count, “but only faith working through love.”

Last year, the story of a famous chef who went inside a car dealer’s shop went viral. Since he was dressed rather simply, no one took him seriously. No one bothered to take a second look at him. So he went to the competitor’s shop right across the street and bought an expensive truck.

Today, the Lord reminds us to look at what’s invisible to the eye. And there’s more to it than just empty external rituals. Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Do you practice rituals that were just passed on to you by some people? Do you know the purpose of those rituals?

Thank You for reminding me today, Lord, that what’s more important is what’s within. Purify my thoughts and motivations, Lord. Amen.



October 13, 2015

Tuesday of the 28th Week in the Ordinary Time

Rom 1: 16-25, Lk 11: 37-41

Take a Look Inside

The first missionaries sent to China were sharing their difficulties in their get together. There they had a lot of sufferings. One senior missionary placed a cup of water on the table and he struck the table strongly. The water spilt over the table. Then he said, “In China you will have to suffer a lot. In many ways people may persecute you. But whatever is inside you only will come out. If you are filled with goodness, that will come out. Instead if you are filled with hatred with a light shaking the hatred will be pouring out of you.”

One of our Hindi poets has written these verses:

Blessings from my lips and curses from his

Whatever has been hidden inside comes out.

In the Gospel having accepted an invitation to dinner, Jesus goes to the Pharisee’s’ house. The Pharisee had admiration for Jesus’ teachings. That’s why he invited Jesus. Jesus wants to teach him something more.  He ignored the ritual washing before dinner which amazed the Pharisees.  At that time, to wash the hands before eating was a religious obligation, imposed upon people in the name of purity, ordered by the law of God. The Pharisee was surprised by the fact that Jesus does not observe this religious norm. Now, he is asking those who invited him over for a meal to take a look inside. They were spending a great deal of time, energy, and worry over being clean outside. While there is nothing wrong with that, the bigger issue was on the inside — if their hearts were clean. Knowing them and their values, he challenges them to do something that would reveal just who they were, inside and out.

A rather pompous-looking deacon was endeavouring to impress upon a class of boys the importance of living the Christian life. “Why do people call me a Christian?” the man asked. After a moment’s pause, one youngster said, “Maybe it’s because they don’t know you.”

Which is more important to God — clean hands or a clean mind and heart?  Jesus chided the Pharisees for harbouring evil thoughts — greed, pride, bitterness, envy, arrogance, and the like.  Why does he urge them, and us, to give alms? When we give freely and generously to those in need we express love, compassion, kindness, and mercy.  And if the heart is full of love and compassion, then there is no room for envy, greed, bitterness, and the like.  Love is what we have to give others–love and understanding, refinement, respect for their freedom, deep concern for their spiritual and material welfare; this is something we cannot do unless our interior dispositions are right. Do you allow God’s love to transform your heart and mind?



October 11, 2016

Our Protestant brethren like to focus their attention on all the passages from the apostle Paul’s letters which state in one way or another that only faith can save us, not works. Here is such a paragraph: “What occasion is there then for boasting? It is ruled out. On what principle, that of works? No, rather on the principle of faith” (Rom 3:27). From such texts Reformers like Luther extrapolated their famous Sola Fides: only faith can save. To this undue extrapolation some critical remarks can be made.

First, the expression “only faith” is not found in the Bible.

Second, the works that cannot save us are only the works of the Law (of Moses). We, Catholics, agree totally on that. But we say that, in order to be saved we still need to perform the works of faith. This is alluded to in today’s first reading when Paul speaks of “faith working through love.”

Third, the Letter of James emphasizes this point very much: “Faith without works is dead” (Jas 2:26).

Fourth, at the Last Judgment (Mt 25:31-46), we shall be judged on our works, not our faith, since some of the saved do not recognize who their Judge is (Mt 25:37-39).



See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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