It is 11th October 2016. We celebrate the memorial of John XXIII, the Pope. The readings are from Galatians 5:1-6; and the Gospel from Luke 11:37-41. In the first reading, St. Paul convinces the Galatians that faith through love is the most important for personal salvation than to hold on to some outward religious practices. “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that counts is faith working through love.” Fidelity and trustworthiness to the Good News is indeed urgent to every believer in Christ. Genuine and committed faith leads one to charitable and merciful works. As our Pope Francis puts, “We need profound conversion and urgent revival of faith.” The responsorial Psalm prays, “Lord, let your love come upon me.” (Ps.118: 41). The Gospel admonishes the Pharisees that they need to be pure in their heart while worshiping God. The things we consider the most important and useful for our existence need not necessarily be the ones Christ wants it. We all need to move away from the ceremonial laws and ritual customs without reason and purpose which please people. Our worship must be meaningful, life giving and life changing moments rather to appease certain expectations of a particular group. Our pure intention and charity is the basis for our authentic worship. God looks at the heart with love and generosity. Let us not waste time in the outward appearances and performance rather let us move inwardly and be clean. Sharing the best we have with the poor is one such way of purifying ourselves. None of us can claim that we have been charitable to that extent and the way Jesus wants it. We are just doing bits and pieces for the poor and pacify the cry of the poor around. We all have the good intentions in giving something for the poor and need to be on guard with the string of advertisement for personal fame. Our generosity to the poor reveals the quality of purity of our hearts right within. The expressions of our faith are not to be a public show but it has to be a deep personal and inward conversion that leads to charity. May you have a good day.

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