TUESDAY HOMILY- 28th Week in Ordinary Time YEAR A
THEME: Cleaning the Dishes
BY; DEACON BILL FRERE
Gospel – Luke 11:37-41
Mass at Mt. Carmel
Like it or not, the holidays are already upon us! You only have to go to the store to see the Halloween candy, the Christmas trees and lights and the Thanksgiving dinner table centerpieces! Tis the season! It seems as if the advertising and commercials start just a bit earlier every year. And yet, I think I’m ok with that! This time around, I am really looking forward to it. But it’s not the trick or treaters or the Christmas presents; it’s not the decorating of the tree or the stringing of lights that I am anxiously anticipating. No, this is the season when I get to wash the dishes!
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Yes, you heard right! Now don’t get me wrong; I help with the dishes year round. But during the holidays, I get to do the heavy washing and cleaning. It seems only fair. Ginger spends so much time planning and shopping for all the holiday meals. She spends hours preparing the dishes, cooking the turkey and setting out the holiday feasts! So she deserves thanks, not to mention a good rest afterwards. So I will do a first round of washing after the meal. Then bright and early (and I do mean early) I go after all the heavy duty cleaning and scrubbing of the roasting pans and the crusted over pots and casserole dishes. Believe it or not, I rather enjoy it, especially in the quiet darkness of a new day. And when I’m done, all the pots and pans are spotless, inside and out! Job well done!
Today’s Gospel follows a similar path – cleaning the dishes – although with a much more spiritual intent. Jesus makes His point with the Pharisees that they are so focused on outside appearances that they pay no attention to what is really important –what is inside their heart! They get so upset when someone doesn’t wash their hands or remember to obey the laws for ritual washing. But they completely ignore the interior motives for their actions. It’s a good reminder to us that it’s not about doing good just for show! It’s about doing the right thing for the right reasons. It’s not enough to look good on the outside; it’s about our intentions – our willingness to do good, to love others, and to act on that love with charitable acts, yes even doing the dishes for a loved one exhausted from a long day of cooking!
So spend some time today cleaning and washing your own dirty dishes (your life). Put some effort into those really stubborn stains. And don’t stop at just wiping down the outside; make sure they are spotless inside and out!
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