Today’s Readings speak of physical manifestations of the Old Testament Law. St. Paul speaks of circumcision, Jesus speaks of the practice of cleansing the outside of dishes. Both St. Paul and Jesus remind us what is of greater importance is faith in Jesus and putting that faith into concrete acts of love. Thus, the interior cultivation of faith and charity require out attention.
St. Paul says again today: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” (Galatians 5:1) Jesus Christ set us free from sin. Thus, in Christ, our capacity is renewed to fully exercise our free will in choosing the good and rejecting the bad. This New Testament freedom is what allows us to say that we are servants and slaves of Christ, that nothing else enslaves us.
Jesus cautioned the Pharisee in today’s Gospel about being more concerned with external precepts of the Law while giving far too little attention to the internal demands of compassion, mercy and love.
Jesus basically gives the great commandment of love at the conclusion of this Gospel passage, when he says: “But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean.
St. Paul gives a simple formula for our life as Christians: Our faith in Christ must be at work through love.
I invite you to watch and listen to today’s Mass below.