The Pharisees and scribes in yesterday’s gospel passage (Mt 23:23-26) continue to get heat from Jesus. Meticulous about tithing, they have no concern for right judgment, mercy, and fidelity; they should neglect none of these. Jesus closes by saying that their outward appearances do not match the state of their souls. The final line (at top) urges them to change their dispositions so that their exteriors match their interiors. Keeping on a theme, we must also look hard at the state of our souls. It is not enough to do certain things that we might consider just sufficient to avoid hell. Going to Mass weekly, saying certain prayers robotically, or not committing the most atrocious sins, is no guarantee we will be saved. What we must do is constantly work to “clean” ourselves interiorly. Even minor sins or “safe” vices have no place in our lives. We should adopt the same horror of offending God as He has of iniquity itself, as manifested in the stripes — and worse — that Jesus received. By repenting, believing in the gospel, and living it, the person we present ourselves as will be the person we are to the core — it will make others better for knowing us and give the Lord the chance to stir in the hearts of all involved the desire to grow closer to Him.