October 11, 2022 – Tuesday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/101122.cfm)
When we have people or even just one person at our back who truly believes in us, who believes the goodness in us, the talents we have, the potentials and the gifts we have, this gives us the confidence and the presence we need in life. That is why, we take comfort when we are being cheered up and our back tapped to continue and to hold on in realizing our dreams and hopes because their presence become our strength. And we understand such actions of people at our back as their way of loving us. Yes, in believing in us they also express their love for us. That cheers us and lightens the load that we may be carrying in life.
This is the very invitation we have today revealed in our readings. St. Paul wrote his letter to the Galatians to remind them not to be too overwhelmed with the letters of the law and of human practices. Christ has set us free and that’s what is important.
The Galatians were actually somehow influenced by Jewish Christians to submit themselves to Jewish beliefs and practices particularly of the tradition of circumcision. Paul was quite indignant in this because the Jewish-Christians claimed that the non-Jewish Christians like the Galatians must become Jews first before becoming a Christian. However, such practice was not important at all. Whether circumcised or not, what is essential is faith that works through love.
Faith in the Risen Christ is not about being faithful to human practices. This is what Jesus also pointed out in today’s Gospel. The Pharisee who invited him for a meal observed Jesus if he would follow the Jewish customs. But, Jesus did not. Jesus did that to make a point to the Pharisee and bring out his warning and invitation. Therefore, Jesus confronted the Pharisee’s over-emphasis to trivial things but with a heart filled with plunder and evil.
Thus, a person’s over-emphasis on trivial matters, on particular religious customs and practices can become a cover up of a heart that is filled with malice and evil. This is the warning of Jesus and warning to us all.
We are called to confront such tendency and recover that faith, indeed, works through love and not over trivial matters. Our belief in the Lord is best expressed when we show concrete actions of loving, of taking care of each other, of showing concern and understanding and in having the capacity to welcome others despite our differences. Certainly, believing is loving. Faith works through love, as St. Paul reminds us. May our faith, then, grow more in that area of loving. Kabay pa.