Reflection for Tuesday, February 7, 2006: 5th week in Ordinary Time.

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Lanahan, Joan
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CLEAN HANDS, CLEAN HEART!|"Happy those who live in your house and can praise you all day long"|The psalmist talks about the fidelity to God and God's promise of love. Solomon prays for that gift of fidelity and that God will recognize his faithfulness and that of his people. He is well aware of their infidelities.|The Pharisees don't seem to be aware of their infidelities. In fact, they only praise themselves and their adherence to law and tradition. They criticize Jesus' disciples for having "unclean practices."|All of this leads me to ponder, "what makes a person unclean today?" If our faith rests in God's promise: "I am with you always...|In cloud by day and fire by night... I love you with an everlasting love. I will always love you"|Then not believing in God's love for me (for you) makes us unclean.|Wow! There are so many times I (we) don't believe: moments of crisis, moments of joy, moments of control (I can or did or will do this myself). Sometimes we don't trust God enough and sometimes we trust ourselves too much.|Jesus tells us to "be compassionate as your heavenly Father is compassionate."|Don't we at times love law and rules over people? Look at the outpouring of compassion after Katrina but now thousands of people are still without homes and work because 'the paperwork isn't complete'. Listen to stories of elderly who aren't getting their medicines because of the new medicare laws. They are too huge and confusing for many people to understand. There aren't enough folks to guide them through the medicare fog. Where is unclean here...and in other social issues today?|"love your neighbor as yourself"... One of Jesus' laws of love. When do we take care of others and not ourselves? Now, there is a real juxtaposition of "what is selfishness?" When do we not love ourselves and why?...and when do we turn away from our neighbor because we just don't like him or her?|All of this pondering of our unclean times isn't meant to dwell on our weaknesses. God knows me and you through and through and loves us in our weakness as well as our strengths. Just be aware of hypocracies, big and small and turn around! Be mindful of the psalmist's words:|"Happy the men (and women) who trust in YOU."
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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