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  • Christopher Looby

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time B

There is a story about a spiritual master who one day put the following question to some of his disciples: “What is the one thing that one should avoid most in life?'


“An evil eye,” said the first.

“A treacherous friend,” said the second.

“A bad neighbor,” said the third.

“A bad heart,” said the fourth.


The Master liked the last answer best, because it included all the others.


Then he said, “And what is the most desirable thing to strive for in life?"


"A good eye,” said the first.

“A good friend,” said the second.

“A good neighbor,” said the third.

“A good heart,” said the fourth.


The Master liked the last answer best, because it included all the others.


The Gospel places great emphasis on the heart, and we can see why. The heart is the source from which all our thoughts, words and deeds flow. If the heart is clean, then all that flows from it will be clean, like water flowing from a pure spring.



The Pharisees paid more attention to the outside than the inside. They were more preoccupied with having clean hands than having clean hearts. It's the heart that matters.


We all must strive for cleanness of heart.


Only God can change our hearts and make them clean and whole through the power of the Holy Spirit.


Like a physician who probes the wound before treating it, God through his Word and Spirit first brings to light our sinful condition that we may recognize sin for what it is and call upon God's mercy and pardon.


The Lord is ever ready to change and purify our hearts through his Holy Spirit who dwells within us. His power and grace enables us to choose what is good and to reject what is evil.


Do you believe in the power of God's love to change and transform your heart?


Lord Jesus, fill me with your Holy Spirit and make my heart like yours - on fire with love and holiness. Strengthen my will that I may always choose to love what is good and to reject what is evil.


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