February 9, 2021 – Tuesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

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The Pharisees were known in the Jewish society at that time of Jesus to observe strictly the traditional and written law of Moses. They too were known to follow the law up to its most trivial like practices of washing before meal, washing the dishes and even the beds. With such strict observance of the laws, these people seemed to be filled with pretentions and feeling of superiority.

However, the integrity of their faith was in question. The sincerity of their action was doubtful. This was something that Jesus wanted them to realize. Jesus wanted this people to see that our relationship with God is not tied up in following the minutest detail of the law. Having faith is not about making others look us up because of the many rituals we do. To have faith is never about becoming self-righteous and superior from others.

Hence, Jesus confronted the Pharisees and some of those scribes with them because Jesus knew their hearts. Citing Prophet Isaiah, Jesus said referring to them, “This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.”

This was how Jesus pointed out the plunder and evil in the heart of these people. This means that what they were really after was not to please and worship God but to make people worship them. Again, Jesus said about them, “You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.”

Thus, what is more important, then, is not our good image before the public or the praise that we get by being righteous and upright in front of the people but our heart that expresses our goodness, generosity and love.

This is what our first reading reminds us today. As God created every creature on earth, God created us in his own image and likeness. We, certainly, possess the divine image of God. Hence, suppressing or hiding those qualities given to us would be a form of injustice to the giver.

Therefore, Jesus calls us today to express the divine image in us by participating in the on-going work of God in us and in the world. Express freely the divine image in us that gives life, inspires life and creates life. In this way, we will be able to worship God truly and every day. Hinaut pa.


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