Tuesday of the 5th Week of the Year

Mk 7:1-13

The Tradition of the Elders


There is something insidious in structures and tradition. Rules and regulations have a way of becoming absolute. This is what Jesus tried to warn us against in our gospel reading, “How well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition!”

The first Christians thought that slavery was an inevitable feature of human society. After many centuries, Christians began to realize that slavery itself should be abolished because as such it militated against the dignity of man. Similarly, up to the present time, we have assumed that poverty is an inevitable characteristic of Phil. society that the rich should be charitable to the poor. After many centuries, we have come to realize that what we called charity was more condescension, more humiliating than poverty itself. Our eyes are opened to the truth that we can eliminate poverty not by way of dole-outs but by providing equal development opportunities to all, such as providing jobs with steady income and equal distribution of wealth to all.

Christians – lay, religious and cleric, cannot expect to work according to a blueprint. Both the Bible and tradition do not provide such a blueprint. We open our eyes more to the demands of the future on our present if we respond according to our limited lights, as guided by the teaching Church and thus create lasting solutions to present problems. (Fr. Joel Maribao, SVD Bible Diary 2002)


Many times I heard the expression, “Kaplastik nimo!” which is the Visayan version of a superficial, unauthentic, false, not sincere and even snobby person. In a word, someone who is just playing a convenient role without showing what he/she really thinks and feels. I can’t help but picturing the Pharisees and Sadducees approaching Jesus and questioning him about certain traditions as ‘plastic people.’ They were very keen in fulfilling all sorts of regulations, traditions and rituals. Considered as the ‘pious ones’ among the people, they followed a very strict way of living. Jesus, sensing the superficiality of their question, did not answer directly. He rather touched the core of the situation by pointing to the way the Pharisees follow a religion with a living faith. They themselves entrapped in their own interpretation and fulfillment of the laws and customs, without finding in their piety a light that could guide them and others.

I can also be very demanding with myself and others about fulfilling policies, rituals and traditions. A fundamental question is in what way do all of these means help me and others to live an authentic, committed, incarnated and testimonial faith. (Fr. Marcelo Cataneo, SVD Bible Diary 2006)


Washing of hands before eating? Changing our soiled play clothes before meals? Why not? Our elders at home trained us to do this same “handed down tradition,” not just for hygienic reasons, but more so as respect for the food set before us, these being blessing from God for that meal time. In the gospel text, Jesus was reacting to the Pharisees’ ritualistic interpretation of the Jewish tradition of washing themselves clean before meals.  They cling to human tradition, with focus on the externals that people may see them faithful to their man-made rules, and expect others to do the same. They dethrone God in their invented laws for their own popularity and seemingly heroic ideals. Jesus called them, hypocrites!

Jesus wants us to engage our hearts and minds when we do things; put a real religious significance when our Christian faith calls us to practice them; stop passing judgment on others for often we ignore the glaring deficiencies in our very selves; and cleanse that “little legalist” deep down. (Sister Tessa Artita, SSpS Bible Diary 2014).


February 9, 2016 Tuesday

One interesting tradition here in Timor-Leste is how people bury their dead. After the funeral mass, they have long speeches and rituals that make some priests feel distressed. When the dead is already buried and when people are already gathered at the house, a wash basin is normally prepared at the center for people to wash their hands/any part of their bodies. This washing symbolizes purification. It’s about driving away of evil spirits and that death may spare them. Then, food is served just like a barrio fiesta in the Philippines. On one occasion, there was no spoon to use nor water to wash our hands before eating. My companions just shook their hands and started eating. And, I followed suit.

Reflecting on our gospel today, I look back on that experience of eating with unclean hands as would have been a violation of the Mosaic Law as observed by the Pharisees. Their religious custom regarding hygiene was truly honorable and commendable. But considering unwashed hands, cups, jugs, kettles used for eating as impurity of heart, or moral deflement or as violation of the revealed Commandment of God, are only forms of prejudices levied on by human ingenuity. They invalidated three important values: purity of the heart, authenticity of worship, and truthfulness in doctrinal teaching (Jesus quoting Isaiah’s prophecy). Jesus further explained that upholding traditional precepts and practices to the point of disregarding God’s revealed Law was hypocrisy.

For example, the fourth commandment: “Honor your father/mother” is always true. It will never be reverted because parents are supposed to hold the place of God. Parents are naturally endowed with power to take care and teach their children. Thus, children are born to give honor to their parents. Whatever the cause of “donating money/property/ gifts to the Temple doesn’t exempt children from the obligation of honouring their parents. Jesus precisely denounced the abuse of this corban” (see Scott Hanh and Curtis Mitch, Commentary on the Gospel of Mark) for it nullifies the Word of God in favor of a selfish tradition.

Our hearts are always larger than our lips! ‘More heart-fullness less lip-service’. (Fr. Jay Baliao, SVD | Timor Leste Bible Diary 2016)

Source: http://rveritas-asia.org/index.php/daily-reflection/449-february-9-2016-tuesday


When we were kids, we were taught to wash our hands before eating. My father would tell us that when we eat, we are before the grace of God. The food is a blessing from God: we should take it with respect and gratitude. We should share and be sensitive to the needs of one another. We should leave something for anybody who will be late for meal. We should not leave anything on our plates, for there are others who do not have anything to eat. In short, we not only wash our hands but also clean our hearts. “How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!” (Reggie)



Reflection: The gospel is a very strong indictment of the human rules and regulations the Pharisees added to the Torah which deviated from the true spirit of worshipping God. These rules have no place in the genuine worship of God. The heart of the Law is to love God above all things and to love one’s neighbor. Love of God cannot be contradictory to love of neighbor. For example, we cannot love God and despise or neglect our parents. Jesus is the best example of true worship of God. In the gospel, he would not perform the useless ritual washings of the Pharisees. He knew what was essential to being a good Jew and what rules were meaningless or useless. Also, he showed his love for his mother to the end. But he clearly put love of his heavenly Father above all things and this he taught to everyone. To people who love themselves more than God, he would reprimand in order to help them see the true path of holiness. Holiness is not in being a perfect accomplisher of rules and regulations but in loving God with a pure heart. Also, the holy man seeks to live a simple life, doing good to his neighbor and helping the poor and the downtrodden. Let us not be like the Pharisees. Instead let us be like King Solomon in the first reading who desired only to build a house for Yahweh to dwell in. Let us also build a house for God in our hearts, in our families and in our neighborhood. We have to be God-oriented because that will bring us not only prosperity but also peace and harmony in our lives and in the lives of our families. biblereflection.blogspot.com/


The love behind the rituals: Oh what a blessing we receive when rituals are changed or taken away, because it makes us analyze why we were doing them in the first place!

Take, for example, what happens when a parish that has always kneeled during the Consecration of the Eucharist is told by the pastor that they will stand from now on. There’s usually a big uproar. Why?

Standing is an official posture of respect. That’s why we stand during the reading of the Gospel. Theologically, it signifies that we are an Easter people; the Lord has conquered sin and death and now we live in his risen glory. So why do we stubbornly refuse to accept a change from the kneeling posture to standing?

Personally, I would rather kneel. It reminds me to be humble. Well, can’t I be humble without it? Frankly, Jesus deserves the most respect that we can muster, which means I should lie prostrate on the floor, except I don’t want to draw attention to myself and away from Jesus.

Sadly, there are many Catholics who kneel because everyone else is kneeling, not from genuine, heart-felt reverence for Christ. For them, it’s merely a human tradition. Jesus says in today’s Gospel reading, “This people pays me lip service but their heart is far from me. Empty is the reverence they do me ….”

Every ritual gesture and body posture during Mass should change us. Making the sign of the cross should put us more in touch with the Lord who died on the cross for us. Blessing ourselves with holy water should renew our baptismal connection to God and separate us from the worldliness that’s outside the church. Praying the “Our Father” should unite us to the people next to us.

“Disregarding God’s commandment while clinging to human tradition” occurs whenever we consider a ritual to be more important than a person. In the hierarchy of Church laws, the rules that prescribe most rituals have always been changeable “human traditions” designed to drive home to the heart a true practice of the faith; they are of lesser importance than the unchangeable laws of faith and morality that prescribe how to treat one another.

The bottom-line question is: What are my motives for doing – or not doing – a ritual? Will it increase my humility? Will it enhance my relationship with God and with the community? Does it spring from the heart or is my heart far from God at this moment?

May love rule our rituals and may our actions never be empty tradition!

Source: goodnewsreflections.blogspot.com/2014/02/11.html


TUESDAY OF THE 5TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – GENESIS 1:20-2:4. Unsa may atong katungdanan sa mga binuhat sa Dios sama sa kadagatan, kabukiran, kakahoyan ug kahayopan? Diha sa libro sa Genesis 1:26-27 ang Dios nag-ingon: “Kamoy magbuot sa mga isda ug sa mga langgam ug sa tanang ihalas nga mananap. Gihatag ko kaninyo ang tanang matang sa tanom nga may binhi ug ang tanang bunga sa kahoy aron inyong kan-on.” Klaro kaayo nga ang gahom sa pagdumala sa kabinuhatan gihatag sa Dios ngadto sa tawo. Apan angay natong sabton nga ang “gahom” wala magpasabot nga mahimo sa tawo ang tanan niyang gusto nga himoon sa mga binuhat sa Dios. Diha sa Genesis 2:15 kita giingnan nga gidala sa Dios ang tawo ug gipahiluna sa tanaman sa Eden aron kini iyang tikaron ug ampingan. Busa, atong ampingan ug dili angay’ng gub-on ug abusohan ang mga binuhat sa Dios. Posted by Abet Uy

Source: abetuy.blogspot.com/2015/02/tuesday-of-5th-week-in-ordinary-time.html


Monday, February 8, 2016

TUESDAY OF THE 5TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR C) – MARCOS 7:1-13. UNSA MAY MAHITABO KON ANG ATONG PAG-AMPO UG BUHAT DILI KINASINGKASING? Sa mga mata sa Ginoo, ang mga pulong sa pag-ampo, ug bisan ang mga maayong buhat, mawad-ag bili kon kini dili ubanan og maayong kasingkasing. Gisaway ni Hesus ang mga Pariseo ug mga magtutudlo sa Balaod ginamit ang mga pulong ni propeta Isaias: “Kining mga tawhana nagpasidungog kanako sa pulong lamang, apan ang ilang kasingkasing halayo kanako.” Kining ebanghelyo maghagit kanato sa pagsusi sa atong mga pag-ampo ug mga apostolado. Gibuhat ba nato kini aron sa pagdayeg sa Ginoo o aron lamang ipakita sa mga tawo. Adunay panultihon nga nagkanayon, “Sincerity makes the smallest of good deeds to become the largest.” Nga sa ato pa, ang kamatinud-anon, dili ang gidak-on sa buhat o pulong, maoy bililhon. Posted by Abet Uy

Source: abetuy.blogspot.com/2016/02/tuesday-of-5th-week-in-ordinary-time.html


Reflection for February 10, Tuesday; Saint Scholastica, Virgin; Mark 7:1-13 Reflection: Why is Jesus a revolutionary leader? Because Jesus’ dares to violate established rules to benefit His people. For Jesus it’s always the greater good of His people before the observance of any rules or laws. Which by the way was created to serve the whims and caprices of the ruling class (The Pharisees and scribes).

Jesus violates the rules created by the ruling class because it’s oppressive; it makes the ordinary people servants of the ruling class. Who are good only with utterance of their laws but visibly wanting in human compassion. Truth to tell, the ruling class (Pharisees and scribes) sacrifice human compassion in exchange for the observance of their self-serving created laws.

Case in point is the washing of hands before eating which was mentioned by the ruling class in the gospel. They asked Jesus: “Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders but instead eat a meal with unclean hands (Mark 7:5)?” Jesus answered them by simply pointing at their hypocrisy, their lack of interior transformation and compassion toward the ordinary people.

If we want our fellowmen to truly respect and follow us we should not be imposing, we should not be dictators. Because if we are like this our people will rebel against us, they may externally show their respect towards us but it’s a respect devoid of substance and spirit.  Instead we should always live the gentleness and compassion of Jesus  – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Source: mjdasma.blogspot.com/2015/02/reflection-for-february-10-tuesday.html


BIBLE WISDOM – “‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. In vain do they worship me, teachings as doctrines human precepts.’”– Mark 7:6-7

There are books that I have read and re-read multiple times and then shared extra copies with family and friends. You know, the kind of books that have phrases written across the cover page in big, bold letters like Laws of Power, Ways to Raise Children, So-and-So-Number of Steps to Success or even Proven Methods to Lose Weight. (I can prove they were false, by the way.)

Many of the advice that I’ve received from these books have served a great purpose in building my character or gearing me towards a more successful future. But I’ve also learned that these self-help books are simply guides that we have to read wisely, filter properly, and to use our best judgment to determine whether what we are reading is fact, fiction, an opinion or something relevant or irrelevant to our experience.

If you want a single source of reliable natural rules and laws, you’ll find it in the Word of God. The value of the teachings in the Bible is irrefutable and is a source of inspiration for personal development and positive growth. If you haven’t read it, take the time to read it. It doesn’t hold the title of the Guinness Book of World Records for Bestselling Non-Fiction Book for nothing. Eleanore Teo (elyo.lee@gmail.com)

Reflection: Let the Bible be your first stop when you need direction.

Lord, let Your laws and Your wisdom guide my actions. Amen.

Source: kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2015-02-10


ARE YOU TOO BUSY? – A husband and wife were arguing about which was the better sex. The man turned to the Bible to settle the issue. “Man is better because man was created first. You only come second,” he asserted. The woman countered, “After creating man, God looked at what He has created and said, ‘Hmmm, I can do better than that.’” End of argument.

In today’s First Reading, we read this line: “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.”

God rested. Does that mean He was exhausted after all that work of creation? Does that mean He consumed too much kinetic energy that He needed to recharge? Of course not. Remember what I said in yesterday’s reflection? The creation story of Genesis is not a scientific account of the story of creation but a theological one.

God’s rest is a description of utter delight and satisfaction for the beauty of His creation. Out of all that He created, man and woman are the most special. Only they were created in His image and likeness. That is why today’s Responsorial Psalm cries out, “What is man that you should be mindful of him? You have made him little less than a god, with glory and honor you surrounded him, put all things under his feet.”

God’s rest is also a description of God’s intention for man to be in communion with Him. That is why, later on, He would command the Sabbath day to be holy, a day dedicated solely for God and man’s communion. God “rests” from all activity on the seventh day, to be in communion with man. Can we rest also from all activity, to set aside Sunday as our exclusive time with Him? The devil doesn’t want this. I once saw BUSY described as Being Under Satan’s Yoke. Are you chained by such a yoke? Fr. Joel Jason

REFLECTION QUESTION: Why not get busy too in the things of God? Chuck Baker said, “If you get busy serving God, you’re too busy to sin.”

Free me, Lord, from Satan’s yoke. Free me from the world’s anxieties that I may focus on the things that are of You. Amen.

Source: kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2015-02-10


February 09, 2016

REFLECTION: The Fourth Commandment, “Honor your father and your mother” (Ex 20:12) was clearly meant from the outset to be an admonition to take care of them in their old age, especially if they were needy. Everybody in Israel agreed on this. However, the Pharisees had found a way to circumvent that obligation by inventing the rule of the qorban—a Hebrew word which came to mean “gift” (to the temple of Jerusalem). According to the Pharisees, if a son wanted to avoid supporting his needy parents, all he had to do was to consecrate his property to the temple while continuing to enjoy its revenues. Since property consecrated to the temple could not be employed for profane use, the son was thus dispensed from supporting his parents. At his death his property would revert to the temple treasury. Jesus cuts through this trickery and shows it to be what it is: a betrayal of God’ word.

We are all potential Pharisees, ready to split hairs when we are faced with an obligation we do not like. Let us resist this kind of temptation and let us be big-hearted with God and neighbor. We will never regret it.


8 Mayumi Street, U.P. Village, Diliman, 1101 Quezon City, Philippines

Tel.: (02) 921-3984, 922-9806 • Fax: (02) 921-6205

Source: schoolofthewordonline.com/scriptural-library/daily-gospel/english/item/3438-february-09-2016


See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Tuesday of the 5th Week of the Year

This entry was posted in zz. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s