First Things First
Tuesday of the Twenty-first week in Ordinary Time
I will examine my conscience as to the motives of my actions each day, making sure I am inspired by mercy, justice and faith.
by Catholic.net | Source: www.catholic.net
Lord, I come to you again in prayer. Even though I cannot
see you, I know through faith that you are present in my life. I hope in your promise to be with me.
I love you, and I know you love me. Accept this prayer as a token of my
Lord, help me to dedicate my life to weightier matters rather than
1. Tithed Up in Knots:
When God originally commanded his people
to tithe, it was so that they would acknowledge him as the source of all the gifts in their lives.
It was to be the recognition on their part that all they had was from him, that he is Lord, and that
his law is the way to salvation. Yet it became easy for the Israelites to fall into legalism and
forget the true purpose of the tithe. They observed the letter of the law and forgot the meaning of
the law: acknowledge the sovereignty of God. In the end, all we are and all we have belongs to God.
We have to use our talents, wealth and possessions all for him and his kingdom. Is there some area
in whichI do not acknowledge his sovereignty in my life?
2. What Really
What are the weightier matters of the law? Jesus speaks of justice and mercy and
faith. When we neglect these, we are distorting true religion, for true religion is not a question
of formalisms and actions to appease God, but rather of turning our hearts to his word. We need to
make our hearts more like his, in charity and mercy toward others. How many times do we miss the
most important things and work only at side issues? How often do we try to please God in the wrong
way, by supposing we are doing his will when really we are only doing our own will instead? How
often do we forget the true essence of devotion to the law of God?
"First clean the inside of the cup…" We should tend to our soul and make sure the
intentions behind our actions are holy motivations. We need to check our heart frequently so that we
can work with purity of intention. Sometimes we work only to present an appearance to others, to
appear virtuous and holy, but inside we are filled with negative judgments, such as lack of charity.
Virtue comes from within the heart of a person, where the Spirit dwells and inspires as he wills. We
need to be attentive to the Holy Spirit and follow his lead.
Lord, you know what is in my heart. Purify it and recast it in the image of your
divine heart, so that I may love you and love others as you love them. Let me put aside all vanity
and desire for appearances that does not give glory to you.
examine my conscience as to the motives of my actions each day, making sure I am inspired by mercy,
justice and faith.
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