Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
“Wash your hands before you eat,” was something my mom said to us as children. It didn’t have any religious meaning, just that our hands were dirty, and we might get some of that dirt and bacteria into our mouths when we ate.
In the Gospel today, we see that Jesus did not wash His hands and the Pharisee was amazed to see that He did not do this prescribed washing before the meal. I always struggled with the word 'prescribed', as if washing your hands was medicine and it washed away your sins, or that it was some outward sign that you were holy. I really thought it was quite a stretch that they would even practice such a thing.
Perhaps Jesus and I agree because He called them fools to think that washing the outside was somehow cleansing the inside, which was filled with plunder and evil.
I would be remiss not to mention that water in the Sacrament of Baptism, in the name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit cleanses us from sin. We are the holiest inside and out at that time of our lives as adopted children of God. Holy Water is a blessing and protection throughout our lives. Even though water isn’t present, there is true cleansing through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and we should go to Jesus and confess our sins and cleanse our internal soul as often as we can.
Then Jesus mentions alms which involves giving to others as an act of virtue, either materially or in helping for free. But our hearts are sometimes dirty, selfish, and greedy. This dirt clouds our vision from seeing people in need or Jesus in others. Let’s pray for God to give us a clean, pure, and contrite heart, so our alms are pure. "Behold, everything will be clean for you.’
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
How clean am I on the "inside" right now? How much sin do I have weighing me down at this moment?
Are there moments in my life where I try to look "clean on the outside" by pretending to have my life together, not struggle with certain things, or look holy? Why?
How does God desire to cleanse me from the inside out? How can I begin to allow him to cleanse me so that I am as clean internally as I try to look externally?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"Have mercy on me, a sinner."
"Wash me of my iniquities."
"Thank you for forgiving me."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Do an examination of conscience today, as if you would while preparing for Confession. Take note of the specific areas of sin that you often try to compensate for in the way you live your life (i.e. pride, being demonstrated in talking about how humble you are). If you are able to get to confession sometime soon, be honest with the Lord about the lack of cleanliness inside compared to the outside, and let him bring healing to those areas in particular.
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Today’s Prayer was prepared by Kendra Von Esh, an International Catholic Speaker, TV News Anchor, Radio Host and Author with a passion to help others deepen their relationship with God and the Faith.
If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called "Prayers" and let us know how we can pray for you today.