While he was speaking, a Pharisee invited him to dine with him; so he went in and took his place at the table. The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not first wash before dinner. Then the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? So give for alms those things that are within; and see, everything will be clean for you.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Jesus is not inviting the Pharisee to abandon the observance of the law. He is inviting the Pharisee to observe the law of God to the fullest extent by going beyond the letter of the law. But going beyond the letter of the law does not suggest disregarding the law; it points to observing the law fully. In his response to the Pharisee, Jesus seems to imply that observing the fullness of the law is all about harmonizing what the law says with what God intends the law to be.
How do we observe the law to the fullest extent? How do we invite Christ into our discernment of what it means to observe the law to the fullest extent?
Grant me, O Lord, to see everything now with new eyes,
to discern and test the spirits
that help me read the signs of the times,
to relish the things that are yours, and to communicate them to others.
Give me the clarity of understanding that you gave Ignatius.
—Pedro Arrupe, SJ
Please share the Good Word with your friends!