Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/020717.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.”
The Pharisees perverted the law of God and only upheld the surface of the laws. They cared more about appearance than they did about doing what God asked. Love of God must come from the heart and truly be seated in the will of the Lord. When we allow our pride and our head to run our lives, we allow pride to get in our head and forget what is truly important. What rule your life?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I have learned to live your laws from my heart, not my mind. They have enriched me and brought me great joy. In Jesus’ holy name, I praise your name, Amen.
O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!