The WORD in Other Words by Fr Renato Tampul SVD (Philippines)
Tuesday 5th Week in Ordinary Time
In my younger days in the village, I used to witness farmers eating without cleaning their hands, especially during lunchtime. They refused to touch water when their hands were tired. And many of them with that practice lived longer compared to those who made themselves clean all the time.
Our gospel today speaks of the hypocrisy of Scribes and Pharisees. They were trying to question the way Jesus deals with his disciples when they ate with unclean hands as against their tradition. But Jesus saw their evil intention that he immediately responded by pointing to their hypocrisy.
This scenario is common even to this day. We tend to forget our imperfections because we focus on the weaknesses of others. Jesus is telling us to go beyond what our naked eve can see. We should at all times see the good things in others. Very often hypocrites think they are the center of the world. This is the reason why they could easily see the actions of others as wrong from their perspective.
God sees what is in our hearts. He is not particular with tradition especially if it hinders others to come closer to Him. He wants us to deepen our relationship with him through our good relationship with others.
How can we cultivate good relationship with others? We should not consider ourselves better than anybody else. We should try to set aside biases towards others but consider them as equal to us as we are all children of God. In this way, we will be at peace. We will not be watching others commit mistakes but rather, give them space, and help them get through with life if they fail.