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Memorial of St. Dominic, Priest: Tuesday of The Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, "Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They do not wash their hands when they eat a meal." (From Matthew 15:1-2, 10-14)

One thing I’ve learned throughout life is, the happier I am with myself, the happier and more patient I will be with others. Whenever I catch myself in a moment of frustration or irritation with other people, or when I feel myself moving in that direction, it’s often because I’m frustrated with something about me. The older I’ve become, the more I’ve found myself letting go of the mounds of conversational garbage and the kinds of talk and conversation that serve no purpose. It never ceases to amaze me, for example, how much energy and time some people seem to place (and waste) on “other people’s business.” I see it on social media, I hear it in conversation, and I even see people making decisions based on “what they have heard” or how they perceive someone to be. This seems to me to be a waste of time and energy, and it’s destructive. It is counter-productive and counter-Gospel. In November of 2016, our Holy Father Pope Francis said in a radio address, that, “we must not be indifferent to others, but rather meet people where they are and show mercy to those in need…” (, Nov. 2016) I have found these words to be very helpful in evaluating my life and ministry.

In praying with today’s Gospel passage, I was immediately led to the thought, “take care of your own house, and everything else will work itself out.” This was in response to the Pharisees and scribes passing judgment on Jesus’ disciples. What part of “our house” needs tending to, so that we can not only be more compassionate toward others but be happier ourselves?

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