Hand sanitizers are everywhere you look these days as we try to protect ourselves each other from the seasonal viruses that menace the land. Today, as in Biblical times, the simple act of washing our hands is the easiest and most effective protection.
Our Gospel selection for this day finds Jesus once again at the home of a Pharisee and in lively discussion about things ordinary and sacred. The prescribed ritual of washing one’s hands before eating was, in fact, both ordinary and sacred. This was another opportunity for Jesus to speak for integrity, transparency and consistency in all we do. St. Luke often puts these dialogs between Jesus and the Pharisees in the context of a meal. The Gospel context itself thus invites us to hear the challenge of Jesus as Eucharistic, where what is as ordinary as a meal, is really something so much more.
The Eucharistic meal is a model of life itself for people of faith. We assemble ourselves around the table of The Lord as simply the people we are, without distinctions or exclusions. No one is less clean or less worthy because The Lord has invited us all to the banquet. Let us respond with faith again today invitation: "Come to the feast!"
Fr. Jim Strommer, C.P. is a member of the Provincial Council and lives in Chicago.