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February 9, 2021

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DG BookGospel: Mk 7:1–13*
One day the Pharisees gathered around Jesus (...) They noticed that some of his disciples were eating their meal with unclean hands, that
is, without washing them (...) So the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law asked him, “Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the
elders, but eat with unclean hands?” Jesus answered, “You shallow people! How well Isaiah prophesied of you when he wrote: This people

honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. The worship they offer me is worthless, for what they teach are only human
rules. You even put aside the commandment of God to hold fast to human tradition.” And Jesus commented, “You have a fine
way of disregarding the commandments of God in order to enforce your own traditions! For example, Moses said: Do your duty to your
father and your mother, and: Whoever curses his father or his mother is to be put to death. But according to you, someone could say to his
father or mother, ‘I already declared Corban (which means “offered to God”) what you could have expected from me.’ In this case, you no
longer require him to do anything for his father or mother, and so you nullify the word of God through the tradition you have handed on. (...)



In order to be bad, you need not break the law. All you have to do is follow
it to the letter. That’s what happened to the Pharisees. They have studied and
memorized the law, so much so that they can go around it and skirt it
without even breaking it. Thus the real battle ground for good and evil is not in
our external acts but inside our heart that decides. So Jesus reminds the religious
authorities that day to mind their hearts before preoccupying themselves
with external acts. For when their heart is pure, all
actions emanating from it is good.


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