Daily Gospel Reflection – Tuesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Bishop Robert Barron
February 7, 2023
Tuesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Mk 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."
*United States Conference of Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus calls the Pharisees hypocrites because they “disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.”
For instance: “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.” If you claim to be a person of love but fail to honor your parents, something is seriously off. Thus the hypocrisy of the Pharisees is a disregard of love.
In its essence, love is an act of the will—more precisely, the willing of the good of the other as other. To love is really to want what is good for someone else and then to act on that desire.
Real love is a leaping outside of the narrow confines of my needs and desires and an embrace of the other’s good for the other’s sake. It is an escape from the black hole of the ego, which tends to draw everything around it into itself.