Monday, February 08, 2016
09 February 2016
09 February 2016
Tuesday, 5th Week in Ordinary Time
1 Kgs 8:22 -23, 27–30 / Mk 7:1 – 13.
From the Gospel Reading: Mk 7:2 – 13.
The Pharisees 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 commandments of God in order to enforce your own traditions! 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 require him to do anything for his father or mother; and so you nullify the word of God through the tradition you have handed on. And you do many other things like that."
In life, man has the natural tendency to seek order, familiarity and continuity. He establishes and implements rules in an attempt to avoid chaos. Oftentimes however, because of all too human imperfections, his zealousness and his over-emphasis on processes rather than purpose, lead him to forget the rationale for the creation of laws in the first place.
Jesus was well aware of this annoying predilection hence his frustration with the Pharisees and teachers of the law when they gave more importance to rituals even before considering what motivated the disciples of Jesus to act the way they did.
Jesus wanted to keep things simple. He taught us the "The Lord's Prayer," the perfect guide on how to talk with Him. Obey the Ten Commandments as the way to conduct our lives. He gave us the Eucharist as the highest form of worship and bonding with God.
Jesus did not suggest that we disregard proper laws, rituals and practices. Far from it. He insisted on being baptized by John the Baptist. He admonished people to pay the appropriate taxes to Caesar. Even if it meant His own death, Jesus respected Pilate's responsibility as Roman Procurator.
His message is clear: Rules should not distract us from what is true and right. Let us pray that we be blessed with clarity of mind and heart in our daily struggles to be good and holy people.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
Carlos M. Borromeo
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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