Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 7, 1-8, 14-15, 21-23
When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem
gathered around Jesus,
they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals
with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands.
—For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews,
do not eat without carefully washing their hands,
keeping the tradition of the elders.
And on coming from the marketplace
they do not eat without purifying themselves.
And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed,
the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds. —
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?”
“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 summoned the crowd again and said to them,
“Hear me, all of you, and understand.
Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person;
but the things that come out from within are what defile.
“From within people, from their hearts,
come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder,
adultery, greed, malice, deceit,
licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.
All these evils come from within and they defile.”
Don’t be a XXI century Pharisee
1) Pharisee. I’d like to put forward this idea: being a ”faith bouncer,” a controller of who can get in and who needs to leave, who can and who cannot. Hold on! Who do you think you are, going around controlling and deciding who is in and who is out? Remember that our relationship with God is personal and individual. Each person manages this relationship in a different way. Not all of us go through the same process and the same path with God. So, don’t go around looking at your brother to control him, don’t be like an FBI spy.
2) Traditions. There are infinite traditions and devotions. That is why the Church clarifies and differentiates dogmas from private devotions. All Christians accept dogmas; private devotions depend on the help they provide to Christians’ spiritual life and closeness to God. But private devotions are not to be imposed. Beware of those devotions which lead to deviations.
3) The impure. Jesus is very clear here. Remember that it is what each one has in their heart that makes them make big mistakes. That’s why we are called to constantly work on ourselves, on our spiritual life. Well, remember we all have a dark side. We must accept and acknowledge it, face and work on it. Come on, we must go on!