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Apr 01st
Home Sections The Daily B.R.E.A.D. February 10, 2009 - Tuesday Gospel Mark 7:1-13
February 10, 2009 - Tuesday Gospel Mark 7:1-13 PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - The Daily B.R.E.A.D.
Sunday, 08 February 2009 20:16
Your dreams force your faith to become stronger, more powerful. If more faith is the only result of a God-given dream, isn't this alone worth it?
Genesis 1:20-2:4a
Psalm 8:4-5, 6-7, 8-9

Mark 7:1-13  Now when the Pharisees gathered together to him, with some of the scribes, who had come from Jerusalem, 2 they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands defiled, that is, unwashed. 3 (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they wash their hands, observing the tradition of the elders; 4 and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless they purify themselves; and there are many other traditions which they observe, the washing of cups and pots and vessels of bronze.) 5 And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, "Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with hands  defiled?" 6 And he said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, `This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 7 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.' 8 You leave the commandment of God, and hold fast the tradition of men." 9 And he said to them, "You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God, in order to keep your tradition! 10 For Moses said, `Honor your father and your mother'; and, `He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him surely die'; 11 but you say, `If a man tells his father or his mother, What you would have gained from me is Corban' (that is, given to God) - 12 then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, 13 thus making void the word of God through your tradition which you hand on. And many such things you do."



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What dream is God calling you to this year? How will this dream-this call-exercise your faith? What risky steps might you need to take to achieve your dream? What kind of faith is required to accomplish your dream?
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Devotions taken from the
"Power for Life Daily Devotional."
Many who plan to seek God at the 11th hour, die at 10:30 - Unknown Author


Meditation by Paul Mahowald S.J. (St. John's Church)

Today is the feast day of St. Scholastica, the twin sister of St. Benedict, both responsible for founding the Benedictine Order in the seventh century.  In fact, St. Benedict is called the "Father of Western Monasticism."  They still are fully involved in the ministry of education in America.  One of the best known sites is at Collegeville, Minnesota where both St. John's University and the College of St. Benedict's are very strong in their mission of educating the youth in the area.

Our first reading is the "rest of the story" (as Paul Harvey would say!) as we read of the final two days of creation and the day of rest.  The text describes that on the sixth day when men and women were created that it was a very good day!  And we acknowledge that we are so dependent on our creator that every moment our God is continually re-creating us.  We cannot exist without God's sustaining us.

The gospel story is from the last chapter of Mark before Jesus goes from the healing and teaching fields of Galilee and goes south and up the mountain to Jerusalem to his death.  Before this trip Jesus is confronted yet again by the "law-abiding" Pharisees and scribes, the self-appointed judges of the orthodoxy of Jesus and his companions.
Jesus confronts them with a simple example (and the gospels elsewhere have several more) of their hypocrisy in keeping the law.  The gentiles to whom Jesus is talking and ministering with his healing and teaching do not know the shades of meaning in the Mosaic Law and the strong influence of tradition.  (This emphasis on "tradition" was stressed by Tevya in the musical "Fiddler on the Roof.")  Jesus clarifies how the Pharisees have substituted their own rules to replace the Law given to them by God in his encounter with Moses in the desert.  He clearly shows how they have erred in changing the commandment of the Lord to "honor one's father and mother" with a human device (qorban) to avoid helping their parents.
Each of us might reflect on how well we keep this commandment of honoring our parents, especially in their old age when they are needy and vulnerable.  It is so easy in our culture for any one of us to say that the government will help or someone else in our family should help them. 

One final reflection: about the "seventh day" when our creator rested.  The Orthodox Jews and their practice of dedicating the sabbath to the Lord is admirable.  But we find it easy to follow the American custom of using the Lord's Day for all sorts of catch-up work, for diversions from our "day job."  This is usually at the expense of using the time to pray and worship the Lord, to make the day a special day for the family to spend quality time together. 

We are coming up to Lent when we talk about "resolutions" to make us better persons.  Here is a chance for each family to take charge of how they spend the Lord's Day.  Is it made holy by our efforts to strengthen the family with time together especially in worship or is it made profane by our going off from the family for all sorts of selfish diversions?  Each of us needs to reflect on this and pray about it so that we truly can do God's will in "making holy the sabbath day."


Supplementary Reading
Building Your Faith Muscle
"Stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong." - 1 Corinthians 16:13

It's easy to dream big if all you have to do is sit on the bench. But you can't make a basket from the bench. You can't win the game from the locker room. You have to suit up and get onto the court of life. And that takes courage! Not to mention hard work.

If a basketball player is working out to get in top physical shape with the dream of winning the tournament, then hasn't the dream built the player? In the same way, when you exercise your faith, taking risky steps in the process, your faith will grow. When you dare to follow God into new arenas, you put muscle on your faith. Your dreams force your faith to become stronger, more powerful. If more faith is the only result of a God-given dream, isn't this alone worth it?

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Last Updated on Monday, 09 February 2009 02:01

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