Monday, February 10, 2014
Tuesday 5th Week in Ordinary Time
February 11, 2014
Tuesday 5th Week in Ordinary Time
1 Kg 8: 22-23, 27-30 / Ps 84:3, 4, 5 and 10, 11 / Mk 7: 1-13
[Our Lady of Lourdes]
Reading: 1 Kg 8: 22-23, 27-30
Then Solomon stood before the altar of Yahweh in the presence of all the assembly of Israel. He raised his hands towards heaven and said, "O Yahweh, God of Israel, there is no God like you either in heaven or on earth! You keep your covenant and show loving- kindness to your servants who walk before you wholeheartedly. But will God really live among people on earth? If neither heavens nor the highest heavens can contain you, how much less can this House which I have built! Yet, listen to the prayer and supplication of your servant, O Yahweh my God; hearken to the cries and pleas which your servant directs to you this day. Watch over this House of which you have said, 'My name shall rest there.' Hear the prayer of your servant in this place. Listen to the supplication of your servant and your people Israel when they pray in this direction; listen from your dwelling place in heaven and, on listening, forgive.
Gospel: Mk 7: 1-13
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." And Jesus commented, "You have a fine way of disregarding the commandment of God in order to implant your own tradition. For example, Moses said: Do your duty to your father and your mother, and: Whoever curses his father or his mother is to be put to death. But according to you someone could say to his father or mother: 'I already declared Corban, which means "offered to God," what you could have expected from me.' In this case, you no longer let him do anything for a father or mother. So you nullify the word of God through the tradition you have handed on. And you do many other things like that."
The gospel is a very strong indictment of the human rules and regulations the Pharisees added to the Torah which deviated from the true spirit of worshipping God. These rules have no place in the genuine worship of God. The heart of the Law is to love God above all things and to love one's neighbor. Love of God cannot be contradictory to love of neighbor. For example, we cannot love God and despise or neglect our parents. Jesus is the best example of true worship of God. In the gospel, he would not perform the useless ritual washings of the Pharisees. He knew what was essential to being a good Jew and what rules were meaningless or useless. Also, he showed his love for his mother to the end. But he clearly put love of his heavenly Father above all things and this he taught to everyone. To people who love themselves more than God, he would reprimand in order to help them see the true path of holiness. Holiness is not in being a perfect accomplisher of rules and regulations but in loving God with a pure heart. Also, the holy man seeks to live a simple life, doing good to his neighbor and helping the poor and the downtrodden. Let us not be like the Pharisees. Instead let us be like King Solomon in the first reading who desired only to build a house for Yahweh to dwell in. Let us also build a house for God in our hearts, in our families and in our neighborhood. We have to be God-oriented because that will bring us not only prosperity but also peace and harmony in our lives and in the lives of our families.
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
... for families who are in need of healing
* Lorenzo Meoli, Nina Valenzona
... for special intentions
* Crescent Diagnostic Laboratory
* Mary Wong, Sharon Tan and children
* Beny Chua and family
... for the repose of Eric Tan
... 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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