Saint Ignatius of Antioch
Readings of the day: RB 13:12-14Mass: Romans 1:16-25; Resp. Psalm 19; Luke 11:37-41
The Pharisees are exasperated with Jesus’ breach of etiquette. How dare he have such poor table manners! I picture Jesus rolling his eyes while exclaiming, “Oh, you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. You fools!”
Lest I be too quick to judge, I reflect on how often I am as foolish the Pharisees—when am I more concerned with how I appear before others than I am with what is going on interiorly, in the depths of my heart. If I ever question why I should be more concerned about what is happening on the inside of my cup and dish than on the outside, I turn to one of my favorite scriptural passages, viz., today’s verse for the Gospel Acclamation:The word of God is living and effective,able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart.
I also look to Saint Benedict as he concludes Ch. 13 of the Holy Rule. Benedict insists on the importance of praying the Lord’s Prayer: “Lauds and Vespers must never pass by without the Abbess reciting the entire Lord’s Prayer at the end for all to hear, because thorns of contention are likely to spring up.” What “thorns of contention” arise in my heart?Our Father who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy name;
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us;
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil. SAINT IGNATIUS ANTIOCH, PRAY FOR US.