God is more interested on the inside of who we are than what we show to the world. What we are truly is what God loves than what we present to the world.
Here, the inside means our inward spirituality, our close relationship with God and our inner life.
It involves our inner thoughts and intentions of doing what we are doing. Sometimes what we present to our friends, families, and people around us are very far from what we are.
God’s interest is not in how many visions and prophecies we give but how truthful our life is. It is being a child of God than claiming to be a child of God.
So, God is more interested in the inside. This, in essence, illustrates how sincere and pure our heart should be.
In the Gospel.
In the gospel of today, Jesus accepts an invitation from a Pharisee to dine at his house. Luke tells us that Jesus went in and reclined at the table, maybe in preparation to eat.
The next thing that Luke tells us is that the Pharisee then saw this and was disappointed that a religious teacher like Jesus could not wash His hands before eating the meal.
Normally for the sake of hygiene, we wash our hands before eating, but this is not the true position of this chapter.
The Pharisees are experts in the law and follow the law to its letters. And one of the laws is that of handwashing.
This law is known as the netilat Yadayim. Before eating, the law expects that a Jew washes his hands as a way to remove any form of impurity, He may contract in any way.
Secondly, some exegetes assume that there is already a ceremonial bowl, in which the guest can wash His hands before he reclines at the table to eat.
Maybe Jesus ignored this ceremonial procedure and went straight at the table which surprises the Pharisee.
The Greek word used to describe this amazement is thaumazo which sometimes reveals an action that shows that one is surprised.
So, the Pharisee must have exhibited a serious sign of amazement that made Jesus rebuke Him of becoming only interested in cleaning the outside of the cup and plate but the inside is filled with wickedness.
A pointer that God is more interested in the Inside than their outward show of spirituality.
Inward than Outward
The interest of the Pharisees centres mainly in keeping the letters of the law and to appear good in the presence of the people rather than a true and sincere relationship with God.
They only appear good and holy to the public but their hearts are very far away from God. The Pharisees love occupying the front seats in the synagogue but their hearts are full of wickedness and evil.
What is Inside the Heart also interests God.
God is more interested on how holy we are. It is not on how holy we claim to be. It is more of inward than outward.
Thus, this reflects how sincere, loving, merciful and helpful we are. This is when we truly show acts of love. Let us remember that what is inside the heart interests God more.
Hence, it is not making effort to show people how powerful, spiritual and prayerful we are but how pure and clean our hearts are before God.
Outward appearance can deceive. Sometimes, we come to people with faces garbed with the face of an angel, even smiling with saintly appearance but full of envy and hatred.
Sometimes, what we present to people are very far from who we are. Some people will come to you in the first instance showing how loving and truthful they are, but as time goes on, you discover they clothe themselves with another intention.
Outward appearance always deceives. What makes us truly who we are is inside.
In the gospel, Jesus advises the Pharisee to give alms from what they have and then indeed everything will be clean for them. Which is advice against their attitude of giving alms so that people will see and applaud them.
When we want to give, let us give from the heart. God is more interested in our inner character. Jesus asks us to go beyond mere appearance in whatever we do, unlike the Pharisees who are more interested in appearing good to public opinion while their hearts are very far away from God.
May God bless you dearest and give us the grace to live the way He wants. May He continues to protect you. Amen