Jesus said: "Woe to you, scribes and
Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint, dill, and cumin, and
have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice
and mercy and faith. It is these you ought
to have practiced without neglecting the others. You blind guides!
You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel!
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you
clean the outside of the cup and of the plate,
but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.
You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the
cup, so that the outside also may become clean.
Prayer: Lord, I come to you again in prayer.
Even though I cannot see you, I know through
faith that you are present in my life. I hope
in your promise to be with me. I love
you, and I know you love me. Accept this prayer
as a token of my love.
Petition: Lord, help
me to dedicate my life to weightier matters rather
than mere appearances.
1. Tithed Up in Knots: When God
originally commanded his people to tithe, it was so that
they would acknowledge him as the source of all
the gifts in their lives. It was to be the
recognition on their part that all they had was
from him, that he is Lord, and that his
law is the way to salvation. Yet it became easy
for the Israelites to fall into legalism and forget
the true purpose of the tithe. They observed the
letter of the law and forgot the meaning of the
law: acknowledge the sovereignty of God. In the end,
all we are and all we have belongs to God.
We have to use our talents, wealth and possessions
all for him and his kingdom. Is there some
area in which I do not acknowledge his sovereignty in
2. What Really Counts: What are the
weightier matters of the law? Jesus speaks of justice and
mercy and faith. When we neglect these, we are
distorting true religion, for true religion is not a
question of formalisms and actions to appease God, but rather
of turning our hearts to his word. We need
to make our hearts more like his, in charity
and mercy toward others. How many times do we miss
the most important things and work only at side
issues? How often do we try to please God in
the wrong way, by supposing we are doing his
will when really we are only doing our own
will instead? How often do we forget the true essence
of devotion to the law of God?
3. Interior Cleaning:
“First clean the inside of the cup…” We should
tend to our soul and make sure the intentions
behind our actions are holy motivations. We need to check
our heart frequently so that we can work with
purity of intention. Sometimes we work only to present
an appearance to others, to appear virtuous and holy, but
inside we are filled with negative judgments, such as
lack of charity. Virtue comes from within the heart
of a person, where the Spirit dwells and inspires as
he wills. We need to be attentive to the
Holy Spirit and follow his lead.
Conversation with Christ:
Lord, you know what is in my heart. Purify it
and recast it in the image of your divine
heart, so that I may love you and love others
as you love them. Let me put aside all
vanity and desire for appearances that does not give
glory to you.
Resolution: I will examine my
conscience as to the motives of my actions each day,
making sure I am inspired by mercy, justice and