Sunday, September 2

Gospel for Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time—Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

“When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus, they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals with unclean, that is, unwashed hands. —For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews, do not eat without carefully washing their hands, keeping the tradition of the elders. And on coming from the marketplace they do not eat without purifying themselves. And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed, the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds.— So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him, ‘Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?’

He responded, ‘Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written: This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts. You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.’

He summoned the crowd again and said to them, “hear me, all of you, and understand. Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile. ‘From within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within and they defile.’”

  • How does this passage speak to you today?
  • How do you handle similar issues today when people do not keep “the letter of the law”?
  • What does Jesus’ response convey to you in our day?

Heritage word—“If once for all we could let the good God act, all would be much better.”

(St. Julie Billiart, Spiritual Mother of the Sisters of Notre Dame)

 

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