The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

Saint Agnes School | Contact Us

28th Week in Ordinary Time

Date: 
Tue, 10/14/2014
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

Soap and water will wash away the day’s dirt and grime.
But it will not cleanse a person of evil thoughts and desires.
Soap and water will not remove the stain of sin.
It will not wash away corruption in the human heart.
The result of washing with soap and water is not a right relationship with God.
 
Using the Pharisees as an example, Luke instructs his community
of the need to be clean on the inside.
Even though it can’t be seen by the naked eye,
the inner person gets dirty during the course of life.
The soul, the heart, the mind, one’s consciousness
needs to be washed just as surely as one’s hands and/or one’s clothes.
 
How does one wash what cannot be seen,
where soap and water won’t reach?
How does one clean the “inside” once it has become soiled?
Luke provides the solution for those under his care:  almsgiving.
The solution to the problem and dilemma of inner impurity is almsgiving.
 
Those who “have” are challenged to share with those who “have not”.
This constitutes for Luke an essential part of the Christian life.
In other worlds, according to Luke, if you’re not giving alms,
if you’re not taking the time, if you’re not risking ritual purity,
by crossing the boundary separating you from people who can’t bathe their bodies
because they have no soap and water,
if you’re not showing care for those in need,
by sharing with them what you have and they don’t,
then you’re probably not clean and will always remain dirty on the inside.
 
To be clean in the eyes of our brothers and sisters is one thing.
To be clean in the eyes of God is something much more.
God sees what our neighbor cannot:  the inner state of our soul.
 
The Pharisees weren’t misguided with their desire for purity.
They were shortsighted….failed to see the importance of inner cleanliness.
They believed that as long the outside was clean
they were fulfilling their obligation before God.
 
God created both the outside and the inside.
The corruption of sin affects both the outside and the inside.
Both must be attended to, washed clean, purified.
 
Almsgiving is the soap and water of the soul.
It is more than a suggestion or a generous pious exercise.  It is a revelation.
Giving alms makes one clean before God.
And we all have the need for such cleanliness.