August 29, 2009


22nd Sunday - B

After 5 weeks reading Jesus' teaching on the Bread of Life from the Gospel according to John, today, we return to the Gospel according to Mark. And here Mark reports a new development in the life and ministry of Jesus - a conflict with "the Pharisees and some scribes."

The conflict begins with their observation that "some of Jesus' disciples eat their meals with unclean, that is unwashed, hands." (v. 2) This seems to mean that while some of the disciples do not observe Jewish ritual purity, other disciples do. [1]

Yet, the Pharisees and the scribes do not challenge just the disciples who they judge have broken the law. They question Jesus. Moreover, they phare the question to include all of Jesus' disciples, and in that manner, they include even Jesus himself, "Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders...?

This Gospel passage should remind us to examine ourselves when we disagree with a person or some people, "Am I fair and objective?" or "Do I stereotype and discriminate?"

[1] Francis J. Moloney. The Gospel of Mark: A Commentary. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2002; p. 138.

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