Link to today’s readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/020916.cfm
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.”
Jesus is more worried about what is inside us, our hearts, than the superficial things like washing hands. The Pharisees twisted the law to suite their purposes. They took the commandments and made their own rules to suite their purpose. Jesus knew their hearts were in the wrong place. He wants our hearts to be filled with Him and His word. Where does your concern lie? On your heart or in your mirror?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to cleanse my heart and mind of the things of the world and fill them only with you. In Jesus’ holy name, Amen.
How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!