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Thursday, 19 October 2017 08:53

February 6, 2018 Featured

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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:

These people honor 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.”

Jesus had many occasions to indict the Scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisy. As we would say it in our time, they do not walk their talk. We are all prone to this character defect differing only in degrees. It is very easy for us to preach beautiful words and ideal conduct but when it comes to doing what we preach we often fail. Students are very sensitive and very observant about how their teachers practice or do not practice what they preach. They would say something like: He or she is so plastic. And as we know we teach more by example than by words. Lessons are caught not taught. When I was then a College Dean, I had professors in Political Science who taught about participatory democracy, freedom of expression, etc, but in their classrooms, they were “terrorists” where the students do not dare to question or to express their opinions differing from their own. In our relationship with God, it is better to refrain from words of praise, honor and glory but make best effort to really do God’s will especially in showing compassion to the poor, the weak and the needy.

© Copyright Bible Diary 2018

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