HOMILY THEME: Cleanse what’s Inside Also.

BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu



_“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?” *Luke 11:39-40.*

Not too long ago, I saw a short video on social media. The Chairman of a certain high profile organisation was addressing some journalists in a press conference and he mistakenly made a slip of tongue. Even though he quickly corrected himself, the aspect of the slip of tongue went viral. Of course, the slip of tongue made a lot of meaning to his critics who felt (in Jesus’ own words): “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Matthew 12:24.

How often do you take out time to examine what’s inside you? If no one would forgive your slips of the tongue, is it possible to avoid ever saying anything that would clearly misrepresent you before the world?

Every day, before stepping out of our homes, we perform certain rituals; we wash our bodies with soap and water, clean our mouth, apply perfumes, put on our best dresses to match the occasion that is taking us out and so on. We practically make frantic efforts each day to look good before others.

In fact, I will not be telling lies if I say ugly people no longer exist in today’s world; only slay queens and kings! Apart from our appearance, we are also good washing the outside of our cups; social media today helps us achieve and maintain celebrity-status. We tend to be saints in public, but in private, when no one is looking, we are different.

Dear friends, as much as we strive to look good by taking care of the outside (what people see), what efforts do we make towards cleansing our hearts so as to look good before God who alone sees what is inside? What efforts do we put in to examine our thoughts and cleanse ourselves of the following:

*negative thinking:* feeling that nothing ever works, expecting the worst to happen, and never seeing the brighter side. Note that negativity is a sign of deep- seated faithlessness.

*compulsive thinking:* being worried and anxious for no reason. Inability to be quiet, inability to even pray well (which is not merely talking but also listening to God), inability to meditate without relapsing into worry (analysis paralysis).

*immoral thinking:* accommodating the devil in our hearts through lust, indecent entertainment, the inordinate quest for material possession, cooking of lies, thinking up new strategies to defraud people.

*ignorant thinking:* this represents the mind of one who does not know and does not admit it but remains very proud, never takes correction, never makes effort to learn, never reads books not to mention the Holy Bible.

This kind of thinking is what St. Paul condemns in today’s first reading; some people were still stuck with the law many decades after Christ had risen, promoting circumcision instead of faith working through love.

*selfish thinking:* inability to consider the good of others, thinking only of what you can gain from people rather than what you can do to make their lives better as Jesus puts it: “full of extortion.

*wicked thinking:* vengeful thoughts, or what Jesus refers to wickedness in today’s Gospel passage.

*complain-complain mentality:* constantly blaming everybody like Adam and Eve, criticising people for not doing anything while refusing to do something yourself, pointing fingers at people (even to God), feeling that one is perfect while everyone else is just not good enough.

These are just a few of the dirt we carry within us daily. If only we make efforts to clean our insides, we would not only live happier and healthier lives, God himself would be more pleased with us.

Let us pray: Lord Jesus, teach me how to constantly clean what is inside me. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Tuesday of the 28th week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Galatians 5:1-6, Psalm 119:41-48 and Luke 11:37-41).


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