Saturday, September 01, 2012




Dt 4:1-2, 6- 8 / Jas 1:17-18, 21b-22, 27 / Mk 7:1-8, 14-15, 21- 23

DEUTERONOMY 4:1-2, 6- 8
And now, Israel, listen to the norms and laws which I teach that you may put them into practice. And you will live and enter and take possession of the land which Yahweh, the God of your fathers, gives you. Do not add anything to what I command you nor take anything away from it. But keep the commandments of Yahweh, your God, as I command you If you observe and practice them, other peoples will regard you as wise and intelligent. When they come to know of all these laws, they will say, "There is no people as wise and as intelligent as this great nation." For in truth, is there a nation as great as ours, whose gods are as near to it as Yahweh, our God, is to us whenever we call upon him? And is there a nation as great as ours whose norms and laws are as just as this Law which I give you today?

JAMES 1:17-18, 21B-22, 27
Every good and perfect gift comes from above, from the Father of Light, in whom there is no change or shadow of a change. By his own will he gave us life through the Word of Truth, that we might be a kind of offering to him among his creatures. So get rid of any filth and reject the prevailing evil, and welcome the Word that has been planted in you and has the power to save you. Be doers of the Word and not just hearers, lest you deceive yourselves. In the sight of God, our Father, pure and blameless religion lies in helping the orphans and widows in their need and keeping oneself from the world's corruption.

MARK 7:1-8, 14-15, 21- 23
One day the Pharisees gathered around Jesus, and with them were some teachers of the Law who had just come from Jerusalem. They noticed that some of his disciples were eating their meal with unclean hands, that is, without washing them. Now the Pharisees, and in fact all the Jews, never eat without washing their hands, for they follow the tradition received from their ancestors. Nor do they eat anything, when they come from the market, without first washing themselves. And there are many other traditions they observe; for example, the ritual washing of cups, pots and plates. So the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law asked him, "Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders, but eat with unclean hands?" Jesus answered, "You shallow people! How well Isaiah prophesied of you when he wrote: This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. The worship they offer me is worthless, for what they teach are only human rules. You even put aside the commandment of God to hold fast to human tradition." Jesus then called the people to him again and said to them, "Listen to me, all of you, and try to understand. Nothing that enters a person from the outside can make that person unclean. It is what comes from within that makes a person unclean. for evil designs come out of the heart: theft, murder, adultery, jealousy, greed, maliciousness, deceit, indecency, slander, pride and folly. All these evil things come from within and make a person unclean."

All three scripture readings today speak to us about the guidelines that God has given us. Let us see them as a way of giving us life, making us whole human beings, enabling us to live with one another in peace and fellowship, communion and love. That is what can happen when we look upon the law as a blessed gift from God.

In the Gospel, Jesus reminds us how we can make the law into something oppressive, something which it should not be. The Jewish leaders of the day, the Pharisees and teachers of the law, were insisting upon strict rules and rituals for their own sake: "You must wash your hands at certain times of the day, every day. You are not allowed to carry things on the Sabbath day beyond a certain distance. You cannot even travel beyond a certain distance on the Sabbath day."

The teachers of the law and the Pharisees had forgotten the purpose of the law. They wanted everyone to follow the law to its letter, just because it was the law. It got so ridiculous that the Jewish teachers and the Pharisees once tried to stop Jesus from healing a paralyzed person because it was the Sabbath. According to these leaders, Jesus was not supposed to minister to people on the Sabbath.

When we make the letter of the law all-important and forget the purpose of the law, it becomes an oppressing situation. Jesus' response was: "Open your eyes. Look at why you have these rules and regulations."

One way that might apply to us is attendance at Sunday Mass. Do we come because we want to get something or to give something? The reason we should come to Sunday Mass is so that we can share our faith, enter into the celebration with spirit, with life, with joy, with enthusiasm. Giving of oneself in the celebration enriches oneself and others in the community. That could happen if we came to our Sunday celebration not out of habit, not out of conformity, and not out of obeying a law, but because we want to come and praise God with all the spirit that we can bring forth. That could happen if we came to every Sunday liturgy with the conviction that this is a time when we pour forth our love for God and our love for one another. Then we enrich ourselves and enrich one another. If we had this attitude, every Sunday celebration would be filled with a joyous community of people praising God and enriching one another.

We are the church. More and more of us have to come to that point where we are ready to be the church. That is what Jesus is teaching us in today's Gospel. Acting as a layperson, not as a priest or community leader, Jesus wanted that community of the chosen people to become more clearly and authentically what
God was calling them to be.

Today, as we reflect on the word of God, let us listen to it deeply and try to let it enter our hearts and change us. Then, as we go forth, we must be doers of God's word. Bring about the conversion that each of us need, that our community need. Then we can truly be God's people and reform the world around us, which we are called to do. Let us continue to hear God's word, but even more, that we will do God's word.
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
… for the speedy recovery and healing of
- Fr. Ismael Zuloaga, SJ
- Mon Torres
- Fleur Torres
- Ditas dela Paz
- Tito Oreta
… for the eternal repose of the souls of
- Antonio Evangelista
- Victoria Tayag Dychioco
Eternal rest grant unto them and may perpetual light shine upon them. May they and all the dearly departed rest in peace.
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- Birthday: Elizabeth P. Tupas
- Birthday: Renzmar M. Malabanan
- Birthday: Lhorie Reyes
- Wedding Anniversary: Prudencio & Filomena Ng Lim
- Wedding Anniversary: Dondi & Fay Dizon
- Thanksgiving: Uy Kim
… for families who are in need of healing
… for world peace and reconciliation.

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!


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