By Fr. Andrew Kelly
22ND SUNDAY ORDINAL TIME – SEPT. 2
A believing community can never forget the two important lessons from Sunday’s Gospel (Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23.)
The first lesson is that Jesus’ words in Sacred Scripture always trump a particular understanding or tradition. Jesus’ words are sacred, not the understanding and tradition.
Jesus scolds: “You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.”
The community now must re-interpret and re-access its traditions and understanding so that it is Jesus’ words that stand out and not the other way around.
The second lesson is the temptation to think that it is what goes into a human body that makes it impure and defiled. Jesus’ words are basically: “Think again.”
“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.”
Jesus then offers a list of “the things that come out are what defile.” The list of sins and vices is not pretty.
Sunday’s Gospel is not for the faint hearted. But faithfulness to Jesus’ words demand the community look into its heart and rid itself of all that keeps Jesus’ words out.
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)
Scripture readings for Sept. 2-9
Dt 4:1-2, 6-8
Jas 1:17-18, 21b-22, 27
Mk 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
1 Cor 2:1-5
1 Cor 2:10b-16
1 Cor 3:1-9
1 Cor 3:18-23
1 Cor 4:1-5
Mi 5:1-4a or Rom 8:28-30
Mt 1:1-16, 18-23 or Mt 1:18-23