Tuesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
“Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside?”
Jesus’ words in today’s Gospel passage highlight the distinction between “the outside” and “the inside”. The Pharisees are focused upon the outside to the exclusion of the inside, while Jesus wants His disciples to focus upon both, but in a certain order: the inside first, and then from the inside the outside will flow fittingly.
In Christian terms, we can draw an analogy between Jesus’ words here and God calling each Christian to carry out good works. It’s often said that the Catholic view of Christianity is not an “either/or” approach, but an approach that is “both/and”. This is true when it comes to good works. In the Catholic view of the spiritual and moral life, there is no division between faith and good works. Both are necessary. As St. James says in his New Testament epistle, “So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. … Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith” [James 2:17-18].
Speaking by analogy, authentic faith in God is the soul of authentic good works. They ought no more be separated from each other than the soul from the body. In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus calls the Pharisees to a more integrated view of good works. Likewise, Christ calls each of His disciples to authentic faith, and authentic good works.