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Home » Daily Gospel, Daily Readings, New Testament Writers

No One Can Justify Himself

Submitted by on Tuesday, 11 October 2011No Comment

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Today’s Readings

  • Reading I:  Romans 1:16-25
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 19
  • Gospel Reading: Luke 11:37-41

No One is Justified in God’s Eyes

Romans 1,16-3,20 is the presentation of man’s utter helplessness before God’s Judgment. Whether Gentile (1,18-32) or Jew (2,1-3,8), human beings cannot be saved from the wrath of God. The whole theme of the futility of all human strivings for salvation with the law, is encapsulated in Psalm 14:1-3.

Today’s selection is from Romans 1:16-25 where the Gentiles are considered under God’s judgment. Even the Gentiles who do not have the Law of Moses have, however, the Law inscribed in their hearts.

For when the Gentiles who do not have the law by nature observe the prescriptions of the law, they are a law for themselves even though they do not have the law. They show that the demands of the law are written in their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even defend them on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge people’s hidden works through Christ Jesus. (Romans 2:14-16)

The Gentiles are objects of God’s wrath because, though God "is self-evident" to them, they have exchanged His glory for creatures. For this reason, God has handed them over to impurity and to the degradation of their own selves.

pharisees

Clean the Inside Too!

The confrontational word of Jesus continues in this section with a rebuke of the Pharisees and the experts of the Law (see following verses). In this first scene, the issue is about what is "outside" and what is "inside (v. 40)" and the occassion is dinner in the house of a Pharisee. The Pharisee’s discomfiture at seeing that Jesus did not clean himself ritually got a rebuke from Jesus himself. All the statements uttered in this section should be understood within the context of ritual purity especially as it touches eating utensils. Cups especially have to be cleaned both outside and inside. When the Pharisee balked at Jesus’ apparent disregard for the law, he and his ilk is rebuked for keeping, as it were, clean outside but not inside (v.39). In this light also, one should understand the saying in verse 40. The RSV translates it thus:

You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also?

The rendering is too faithful to the aorist participle poihsaV and indicative forms in this verse. I would translate it as : "Fools! Isn’t it that the one who does the outside, should do the inside too?" (With the verb "to do" having the same nuance as in "to do the windows"). This way, the following verse becomes easy to comprehend:

Fools! Isn’t it that the one who does the outside should do the inside too? Rather, give as alms what is inside (cups and plates) and all will be clean to you!

 

More from the Bible Journal

Romans 1:16-25
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
16For I am not ashamed of the gospel. For it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth, to the Jew first, and to the Greek.
17For the justice of God is revealed therein, from faith unto faith, as it is written: The just man liveth by faith.
18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and injustice of those men that detain the truth of God in injustice:
19Because that which is known of God is manifest in them. For God hath manifested it unto them.
20For the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; his eternal power also, and divinity: so that they are inexcusable.
21Because that, when they knew God, they have not glorified him as God, or given thanks; but became vain in their thoughts, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22For professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.
23And they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of the image of a corruptible man, and of birds, and of fourfooted beasts, and of creeping things.
24Wherefore God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness, to dishonour their own bodies among themselves.
25Who changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
Luke 11:37-41
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
37And as he was speaking, a certain Pharisee prayed him, that he would dine with him. And he going in, sat down to eat.
38And the Pharisee began to say, thinking within himself, why he was not washed before dinner.
39And the Lord said to him: Now you Pharisees make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter; but your inside is full of rapine and iniquity.
40Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without, make also that which is within?
41But yet that which remaineth, give alms; and behold, all things are clean unto you.
Psalm 14:1-3
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
1Unto the end, a psalm for David. The fool hath said in his heart: There is no God, They are corrupt, and are become abominable in their ways: there is none that doth good, no not one.
2The Lord hath looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there be any that understand and seek God.
3They are all gone aside, they are become unprofitable together: there is none that doth good, no not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre: with their tongues they acted deceitfully; the poison of asps is under their lips. Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood. Destruction and unhappiness in their ways: and the way of peace they have not known: there is no fear of God before their eyes.
Romans 1:16-25
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
16For I am not ashamed of the gospel. For it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth, to the Jew first, and to the Greek.
17For the justice of God is revealed therein, from faith unto faith, as it is written: The just man liveth by faith.
18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and injustice of those men that detain the truth of God in injustice:
19Because that which is known of God is manifest in them. For God hath manifested it unto them.
20For the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; his eternal power also, and divinity: so that they are inexcusable.
21Because that, when they knew God, they have not glorified him as God, or given thanks; but became vain in their thoughts, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22For professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.
23And they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of the image of a corruptible man, and of birds, and of fourfooted beasts, and of creeping things.
24Wherefore God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness, to dishonour their own bodies among themselves.
25Who changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
Romans 2:14-16
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
14For when the Gentiles, who have not the law, do by nature those things that are of the law; these having not the law are a law to themselves:
15Who shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness to them, and their thoughts between themselves accusing, or also defending one another,
16In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

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