Today’s Gospel: Mark 7:1-13 – St. Paul Miki & Companions
In Mark’s gospel passage, Jesus and His disciples are chided by the Pharisees for failure to follow the tradition of hand-washing before meals. Jesus’ subsequent lesson reminds the Pharisees that focusing only on tradition skews their actions and eschews God’s commandments, reminding them of Isaiah’s prophecy: “This people honors me with their lips but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines.”
How many times have we gone to Mass and been sent off to “Go in Peace to love and serve the Lord”, only to encounter an angry parishioner exiting the parking lot honking in impatience? Have we already dismissed our parting instructions and silenced the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? (Galatians 5:22)
How many times have we encountered the homeless and averted our eyes in feigned oblivion to their presence? We are called to feed the poor. Charity extends beyond the offertory envelopes and bake sales. Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his deed. (Proverbs 19:17)
How many times have we lashed out in anger and frustration at our children’s poor choices? Do we forget that we are instructed to impart mercy, not just for a year, but for a lifetime? These often painful moments are tangible opportunities of mercy, love and compassion. “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” Luke 6:36
Take time today to look inside your heart and see the areas that Christ is calling you to revisit your views on a particular tradition and how you can better respond with mercy, compassion and love.
Lord, You have given us life instructions through tradition and scripture; may we practice these in every situation of our daily lives, becoming the salt and light to the world.
Copyright 2018 Tracy Eisner
Married to my high school sweetheart and blessed with four children who are growing far too quickly, I spend my days in healthcare and my evenings balancing taxi duties, dinner and time with my family. Date night, coffee time, walking our dog, walking the beach and stand-up paddleboarding–these are a few of my favorite things!
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