Today’s Gospel reading reminds us of the importance Jesus placed on purity of heart and goodness of spirit. What is important is not outer appearances, but inner cleanliness; not washing one’s hands before a meal, but arriving at table with a clean conscience. We need to remember at each Eucharist, when we are invited by Christ to dine with him, what he said to the Pharisees with whom he reclined at table to eat.

Sadly our country has yet again been the victim of a brutal attack, this time at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. And yet again the attack was not from outside terrorists but from inside aggressors, from one of our own. In the words of Walt Kelly’s Pogo, writing of possible insidious, home-grown terrorists in the 1950s during a time of increased tension over the Red Scare – in a time perhaps much like our own – yet again “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

—Gregory Ostdiek, S.J. is a Jesuit scholastic teaching science to inquiring minds at Loyola Academy, Wilmette, IL.