Gospel: Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, ‘Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?’ He said to them, ‘Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,
“This people honours me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching human precepts as doctrines.”
You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.’
Then he called the crowd again and said to them, ‘Listen to me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.’ For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.’
Another gospel to learn today from Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23. We live in our world today by tradition which provides continuity from the past. It somehow create a sense of community yet sometimes these traditions are distracting. Most of what thought to be proper is actually not proper. These traditions are hindering us from what is essential.
We are like the Pharisees in Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 who criticized Jesus. We too are often seen to be so good in doing things that are good outside but inside, we rot. Instead of making people glow their eyes on us, why not we serve God?
Following the things that are worldly but not heavenly. As people of God, we should not care about the worldly things. Instead, we put our focus in making sure our souls are clean.
We can become very shallow if we only fulfill the ‘obligations’ of society. If we pay no attention to where our heart is, then it is nothing.
God sees our hearts and He wants us to convey love to each and every one. He judges us on the love of our lives and our efforts to love. This is what Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 is telling us. Today, people are struggling much because of the pandemic. Most people say we are all on the same boat but we are not. We are on the same ocean but have different vessels on us. Some are on the ships that are sturdy and some on yachts. Yet, many are clinging onto branches and most are drowning. This is the reality that we must face.
This is the best time to break the traditions that are hindering us from doing what is essential. If you have plenty, share what you have. If you have enough talent, serve the church without asking for return. Everything we must do in His glory. By the end of the day, you will find what your purpose is by doing service to God and to your fellowmen. – Clea | Helpline PH