The Eve of the Feast of St. Teresa of Avila.
We pilgrims love to judge each other. You’re not a “true” pilgrim unless you stay at the dorm-style albergues; or if you don’t carry your backpack but have it shipped periodically; or if you take a bus or , God forbid, a taxi, when you get lost to get back on track ; or if you eat a regular meal deemed too sumptuous.
We all have different reasons for making this journey. Some are quite old and suffer from arthritis; some are living with other chronic illnesses; some are diabetic; some even have a particular physical handicap. We shouldn’t judge until we walk in the other’s shoe…or boot.
In today’s gospel , Jesus , himself, is probably having a sumptuous dinner at one of the Pharisees , which I guess makes him a bad pilgrim. Jesus senses that the Pharisee is making judgements on his demeanor since he is not observing the proper ritual washing before the meal. They are too concerned with the externals of the Law so jesus reminds them, and us, to first clean the INSIDE before worrying about external observances.
Making judgements is a normal part of life and we all make them on a daily basis. It is when the judging becomes judgmental that we get into trouble. We all have a lot of inner work to do on cleaning the inside, our hearts, where Christ dwells. Too often, he dwells in clutter and bitter judgments on the very people he loves.
Jesus ends today’s gospel with one remedy: to give alms, let go of our money and possessions , and allow charity to cleanse the inner chamber of the heart.
When we breath our last, as we all must , all we bring with us is love, our love of God and our love of neighbor. Faith and hope are not necessary in the Kingdom for we will live and breath and love in the very object of faith and hope : GOD. This is beautiful but sobering.
A question for all of us : how am
I judgmental in my own life ?
Tomorrow is the Feast of St. Teresa of Avila. May she guide your journey to the One who will make your journey safe. “God ALONE suffices.”
Buen Camino. Fr. Frank