While he was speaking, a Pharisee invited him to dine with him; so he went in and took his place at the table. The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not first wash before dinner. Then the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? So give for alms those things that are within; and see, everything will be clean for you.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
One of the great early companions of St. Ignatius was Jerome Nadal. His responsibility was that of promulgating the Ignatian charisma to other Jesuits. Nadal, suggested that the true prayer of a Jesuit includes the other. Nadal stressed, again and again, in his talks to Jesuit communities all around Europe in the 1550´s that Ignatius even wanted our prayer to be about others.
This is good news! This is what Jesus is suggesting to the Pharisee with whom he is dining. Jesus bluntly suggests that he go outside of himself and be helpful. Rather than worry about whether we are exteriorly good or interiorly pure, Jesus proposes a way forward: be helpful and give of yourself to another.
Let us then in this moment of prayer ask for the grace that Ignatius received from the Lord: the grace to pray with reverence and love for the persons in our life who most need our help.
—Christopher Staab, S.J. is a Jesuit scholastic of the Chicago-Detroit province. He is currently in his second year of theology studies at the Jesuit house of studies in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Chris previously taught at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School, Chicago IL.
Jesus, my best companion, help me to follow your lead—to give of my time and talent and treasure to those I meet each day…at home, at work and school, all around the city. May I discover your strength in these encounters and may all my interactions be filled with your spirit, your strength, your hope. Amen.Please share the Good Word with your friends!