(Yesterday’s reading St. Mark 6: 45-56)
Feb. 18, 2022
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.
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.