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Today’s Gospel
for the family

Today's Gospel + image + catechesis

Tuesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

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Gospel text (Mk 7:1-13): 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?” 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?” 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 qorban”’ (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.”

Illustration: Pili Piñero

Today we see that in Jesus’s times men already acted in the same way as they do today: they invented a religion according to their needs; a religion of many “to dos” and little divinity! God had never asked Moses to tell the people to wash their hands and arms to the elbow, or to purify cups, jars and so on, among so many other unbearable burdens to carry. They were the ones that invented all that!

-Jesus wants us to wash our heart. If we have a clean heart we will “discover” what the wants of our neighbour are, and then we can go and help him out.