Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands before they eat.”
Then he called the crowd to him and said to them, “Listen and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles.”
Then the disciples approached and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard what you said?” He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if one blind person guides another, both will fall into a pit.”
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.
In an age of superficiality–where we can obsess over outward appearances–we often try to ensure that our lives look spotless to others. Thankfully, Jesus helps us by offending our desires to be popular, and challenges us to be concerned with the cleanliness of our hearts and interior life, over and above our fronted fallacies.
Today, let us ask ourselves: Who are our “blind guides”? What tendencies dwell in us that are not planted by God and thus need to be uprooted by His boundless and unfailing grace? For indeed, God always works to improve the condition of our hearts as a means of helping us grow into more loving persons. God does this through our participation in the sacraments, and through both our interior and communal prayer. So when Christ has no qualms about offending us through a firm and loving correction, let us listen well, and respond generously. After all, Jesus knows best.
Change our hearts this time,
your word says it can be.
Change our minds this time,
your life could make us free.
We are the people your call set apart,
Lord, this time change our hearts.
—Rory Cooney, Change Our Hearts, © 1984 Spirit and Song