THEME: Focus more on the things of the Spirit.
BY: Fr. Justin Nzekwe
HOMILY FOR TUESDAY AUGUST 23 2022
Jesus preaches against any form of externality in the worship of God. He rather prefers us to focus more on the interior – which are the things of the Spirit. Even when we want to pray or fast, Jesus encourages us to do that in secret so that only God that will know that we are fasting. In the gospel reading of today, Jesus confronts some Jewish sets who are more interested in paying tithes, and giving alms in the public so that people can see them and praise them for their generosity. He condemned such attitude, saying: “Woe to you, scribes and hypocritical Pharisees, who clean the outside of the glass and plate, but inside are full of greed and intemperance. Blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the glass, so that the outside becomes clean too!” Our rewards as Christian is going to be in heaven, we should rather pay more attention on seeking the affirmation from God, instead of that of our fellow human beings. Jesus prefers us to pay more attention to justice, mercy and fidelity, instead of all the external manifestations of piety which we do to attract human attention. When we are so much interested in keeping external laws instituted by human beings for the ordering of the society, we end up neglecting the spirit of the law. Sometimes might ask question like: what will Jesus do in this situation? Instead of what does the law says? We attract God’s attention when we defend the rights of the strangers and those who are not protected by the law, and also when we attend to the needs of the poor and the needy. Above all, we attract God’s attention by being faithful to God who sees the innermost part of our hearts, and knows our intentions even before we act. Jesus invites us today to devote more attention in building our spiritual lives, instead of focusing only on ritual laws.
We pray in this holy mass for the grace to live a life more pleasing to God, so that we may inherit his kingdom in heaven on the last day.