Share your “highs” and your “lows” for the past week with each other.
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied rightly 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 human precepts as doctrines.’
You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.”Then he called the crowd again and said to them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.”
What surprises you or engages you in this reading? This reading seems to suggest that our words matter and that how we talk about others, God, etc. is vitally important to the work of the Kingdom of God. Discuss why this is true and give examples of how our words can hurt and bless.
Pray for one another.
Special prayer requests: Pray for Christ to open our hearts and open our ears and open our lives to his vision of life and faith and grace and peace and hope!
Bless each other by making the sign of the cross on each one’s forehead.