I am with you always until the end of this world - Jesus (Matthew 28:20).

Preach the Word in season and out of season reproving, rebuking or advising always with patience and providing instructions (2 Timothy 4:2).

Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you (Luke 1:30).

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. - G. K. Chesterton

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Monday, February 9, 2015

1Reflection for February 10, Tuesday; Saint Scholastica, Virgin; Mark 7:1-13

Gospel: Mark  7:1-13
When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus, they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands. (For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews, do not eat without carefully washing their hands, keeping the tradition of the elders. And on coming from the marketplace they do not eat without purifying themselves. And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed, the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds.) So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him, “Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?” He responded, “Well did Isaiah prophesy 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 as doctrines human precepts. You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.” He went on to say, “How well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition! For Moses said, Honor your father and your mother, and Whoever curses father or mother shall die. Yet you say, ‘If someone says to father or mother, “Any support you might have had from me is qorban” (meaning, dedicated to God), you allow him to do nothing more for his father or mother. You nullify the word of God in favor of your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many such things.”
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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 

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