St. Mark 7: 1 – 13

(Yesterday’s reading St. Mark 6: 45-56)

Feb. 18, 2022

Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem.

2 And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.

3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders.

4 And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables.

5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?

6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.

9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

10 For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death:

11 But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.

12 And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother;

13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

Dealing with the hypocrites and legalists again, who are all about the jot and tittle of the law but devoid of the spiritual meanings of what they do and say.

We’re no better. We Christians can be pretty critical of each other – “did you see what Mary was wearing? She could have ironed it.”; “He never bows his head to the altar before he enters the pew!”. The one that gets me, personally, is all the chatter in church as folks wait for the Mass to begin. We should enter in silence, take our seats, and clear our minds to make ready for the Mass; kneel and make our personal prayers, have the prayer book ready to follow along, put a little bookmark in the hymnal so that when the processional starts we’re ready. But what happens is folks chat to their friends, even across the church, and get caught up their news, making it difficult for those who have been trained, as I have, as to the proper behavior in church.

But not everyone was trained in the same church with the same priests in the same manner. They chat because, a lot of times, church is the only interaction they have with folks and it enriches their experience. Maybe they don’t bow to the altar before taking their seat because they simply had other things on their minds right then. Maybe we ought to cut people some slack and not hold ourselves in such high esteem – the whole ‘beam and mote’ thing (Matt 7:5). Jesus is not only chastising the Pharisees and scribes, He’s instructing us as well. It’s more important that we see to our salvation in Christ before we worry about the right and the wrong way to do things in church. The priest will instruct or correct – we are to see that we follow the Master.

4 thoughts on “St. Mark 7: 1 – 13”

  1. As I have come to a church where people share the love God has given, I do understand the chatter. This congregation is caring of one another. As we have no exterior room to make greetings to other members, I see this as acceptable. Once the organist begins to play, we settle down and prepare for worship.

    Liked by 2 people

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