FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
FEBRUARY 9, 2021
Tuesday – Week Five
WORD of the DAY
So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him, “Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?” He responded, “Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written: This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts. You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.” He went on to say, “How well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition! For Moses said, Honor your father and your mother, and whoever curses father or mother shall die. Yet you say, ‘If someone says to father or mother, “Any support you might have had from me is ‘korban’ (meaning, dedicated to God), you allow him to do nothing more for his father or mother. You nullify the word of God in favor of your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many such things.” (Mark 7: 5 -13)
How shall I live this Word?
While the commandments cannot be touched, human traditions must be critically evaluated in order to understand whether to accept or modify them. To make us understand this, Jesus confronts us with the practice of korban, which means ‘God’s offering’, according to which everything that was declared as such became the exclusive property of God, removed from the possibility of being destined for other uses. If, by hypothesis, a person offered God as a korban all the fruits of his field, and suddenly his parents were in financial straits, he could not in any way help them for the simple reason that the harvest belonged only to God. In giving this example it is as if Jesus were saying: ‘This is nonsense! How can an offering to God become a death sentence for human beings?’ This is the risk. The traditions of the ancients become meaningless, or even unfair, unjust, if they are not subjected to serious discernment. This always happens when in dioceses, parishes, institutes of consecrated life, religious traditions, justified by the motto ‘it has always been done this way,’ is held to be greater than charity, mercy, mutual love.
Lord, very often we love the rules and traditions more than the Gospel and the people you entrust to us: help us to overcome our foolishness, so as to be credible witnesses of your Love.
The Voice of Pope Francis Homily 18 January 2016
The Christians who hide behind “It has always been done this way …” commit sin, becoming idolatrous and rebellious ones and living a patched life, half and half, because they close their heart to the newness of the Holy Spirit.
FMA, Rome E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.sanbiagio.org email@example.com Blog: livingscripture.wordpress.com Comment by Fr. Giuseppe Tilocca