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.” For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
What images or words or phrases speak particularly to you in this reading? Traditions are wonderful. They help us to find meaning amidst familiarity. Still, sometimes traditions need to change so that something new can be expressed; to allow renewal to occur. Think of your favorite traditions. Consider how many of them are “still around” in your life. Have any favorite traditions ended? Did any of them end only for something just as wonderful to occur? When might traditions “get in the way” of a needed change?
Special prayer requests: Pray for our nation and our world during this unprecedented time of Covid-19, especially those who have been affected and who are ill.
Bless each other by making the sign of the cross on each one’s forehead.