Tuesday of 5th Week, even numbered year Mardi de la 5e semaine de l ’année paire

“As I have loved you, love one another.”
Wednesday 30 December 2015

1 R.8,22-30 Ps.83 Mk.7,1-13

Tuesday of 5th Week, uneven numbered year

“The Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered round him, and they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with unclean hands, that is, without washing them.. for the Pharisees and all the Jews, kept the tradition of the elders and ever eat without washing their arms as far as the elbows; and on returning from the market place they never eat without first sprinkling themselves.There are also many other observances which have been handed down to them to keep, concerning the washing of cups and pots and bronze dishes.”

Religious practices having become rules of hygiene, Jesus denounced them in order to shed light upon God’s relationship of Love with His People. As men and women who are responsible human beings, we live deceitfully and this prevents us from being happy. Christ Jesus wishes to preserve our life from this deceit, by enlightening the inside and outside of our person.

On the outside, we all have our masks, with this ideal image we have of ourselves which we pursue more or less consciously, which projecting upon all that we do or say.

On the inside we enter into the zone of what is true and genuine, this is what we are before God, when we give Him the right to look at us, when ’we humbly welcome the Word sown within us which is capable of saving us.’ It is the place of decisive choices, of fidelity in our daily life. In a powerful act of thanksgiving, we marvel before the heights of all creation, man and woman created in God’s image and resemblance.

"So the Pharisees and scribes asked him : ’Why do your disciples not respect the tradition of the elders but eat their food with unclean hands?’ he answered, ’How rightly Isaiah prophesized about you hypocrites in the passage of scripture : ’This people honour me only with lip-service, while their hearts are far from me. Their reverence of me is worthless; the lessons they teach are nothing but human commandments.’

God is a mystery of Love given in personal Relationships!

As far as we friends of Christ Jesus are concerned, it is not sufficient that we sprinkle our existence with a few moments of prayer, like the Pharisees, sprinkling themselves with water as they come back home from their prayer in public places. What interests God is what is in the heart; the friend of God is ’the hidden man with pure heart’.

In Genesis, God says ’Let us make man and woman in our image and in our resemblance.’ ’Let us make!’ This mystery of God, who is Love, is explicitly revealed to us at the Annunciation of the angel to Mary and this is where we enter into the perspective of the ’Let us make’.

In proposing to Mary that she becomes the mother of her Son, God takes us into a contemplation of Jesus, the Eternal Word of God made flesh. He is the Son of God. ’The Holy Spirit will cover you with His shadow.’ had he replied to Mary who wonders ’How this can be?’

Not only do we contemplate the mystery of the Father and Son, but also the mystery of their Love which is given to us as a Person to contemplate.

“Jesus said ’You put aside the commandment of God to observe human traditions. ’And you do many other things like this.”

God wishes to save all men and all men so as to lead them to his Glory. He desires to have this most secret hollow place within us from where every bit of understanding, love, choice and decision come.

Jesus , Son of the Father, has us contemplate the invisible Father, for it is possible to be a reflection of the living God. So we are far off from these practices of hygiene that the Pharisees and scribes would have. It is in this exterior part of ourselves that aggression and spite boil within us. This is where selfishness and scorn come sliding in, having us use others to our own advantage.

’What comes out of the heart of man is what makes him impure’ said Jesus. It is from within the heart of man that come nastiness, envy, pride and excess.

Mary manifests the Infinite Tenderness of Our Father’s Heart. She is the mother of Jesus, the limpid mirror given to us to contemplate the Image and Resemblance of the living God within her. Prototype of a new world, she received from Jesus the Living Word of God. This is where true religion is - where God is linked to his people.

The Father gives us his only Son. Mary will also give us this Only Son. We too are capable of giving all that we have received, like Mary did!

It is the Holy Spirit who has us enter into this Gift beyond all Gifts. Jesus alone can reconcile within us this being and appearing, He alone is capable of taking away from us our masks without letting ourselves become discouraged. He alone can heal us from illusions and make us into new creatures, at last capable of loving.

This road towards freedom is the straight path of the Beatitudes.

We ask Mary to help us bring about God’s Word into our lives.