As Jesus was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to have a meal with him. So he went and sat at table. The Pharisee then wondered why Jesus did not first wash his hands before dinner. But the Lord said to him, “So then, you Pharisees, you clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside yourselves you are full of greed and evil. Fools! He who made the outside, also made the inside. But according to you, by the mere giving of alms everything is made clean.
Rituals make life easy by facilitating our movement from one area of our life to the next. For the Jews, eating meals has a sacral dimension; to enter into this sacred act and space, one must wash hands as a ritual cleansing of oneself coming from the profane world with its profane activities. Yet Jesus does not have the patience for such ceremonies that are only for outward appearances. He is more preoccupied with the interior cleanliness of the person. Outward rituals can be dispensed. They are not obligatory. But to be good interiorly is a must.
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