After chastising the crowds for being “an evil and adulterous generation” and exhorting them to seek holiness that lights the body, Christ is invited to dine with a a Pharisee at his home. Aware of the Pharisees’ rejection of His Gospel and their corrupt hypocrisy, Christ knows the Pharisee is seeking to trap Him in some legal error.

Christ does not ritually wash His hands prior to the meal as was the strict legalistic ritual (not hygienic) of the Pharisees; this is purposefully provocative, for Christ is not seeking to avoid the Pharisees’ traps but is there to denounce their sinfulness.  When the Pharisee reacts with inner condemnation because Christ did not wash His hands, He begins a scathing rebuke targeted at the scribes and Pharisees.

Christ indicts the Pharisees’ attempts to adhere to outer acts of piety (clean the outside of the cup) while evilly plotting in their hearts to steal (rapacity/greed, extortion). Spectacularly impolite, Christ calls the Pharisees “fools” for their ignorance of God’s gift of the soul and the need for inner holiness. Christ directs the Pharisees to unselfishly give alms to the poor in penance for one’s sinful thoughts and deeds to become pure of heart.

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ has knowledge of the hidden inner thoughts of the Pharisees.  Divine King, Christ denounces the Pharisees in strong terms, calling them extortionists, wicked and fools. Divine Teacher, Christ gives definitive critique of the failures of the Pharisees and right practice, using memorable imagery (the dirty cup).

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Reflect on Christ’s manly combative nature to confront evil and His willingness to use scathing words that combine both accusation and humor.

2) Unlike the Pharisees who were rigorous in their attempts to keep faith disciplines, most Catholic men struggle with keeping up with basic devotions. Christ does not condemn the importance of keeping the law or rigor practicing devotions; rather, He condemns the Pharisees’ lack of love. Recommit to pray daily (including the Rosary), go to Confession at least once a month and to rigorous prepare and fully engage in the Sunday Mass.

3) Like the Pharisees, men hold on to sin in the shadows of their hearts. Do a fearless self-examination and go to Confession. As Jesus directs, give money to the poor in an act of penance to grow in inner purity.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Sorrowful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Guardian Angels

Virtue of the Day – Justice

Corporal Work of Mercy – To clothe the naked

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To counsel the doubtful