Tuesday, February 6, 2018


In today's first reading, 1 Kings 8:  22-23, 27-30, begins with Solomon "stretching forth his hands towards heaven, [praying:] 'Lord God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below; you keep your covenant of mercy with your servants who are faithful to you with their whole hearts.'"  We then encounter a story in today's Gospel of persons who were not "faithful...with their whole hearts"--the Pharisees who disregarded "God's commandments but [clung] to human traditions." Jesus confronts them: "How well you have set aside the commandment of god in order to uphold your tradition!  For Moses said, 'Honor your father and you mother and whoever curses father or mother shall die.' Yet you say, 'If someone says to father or other, 'Any support you might have had from me is qorban,' [that is dedicated tho God),  you allow him do do nothing more for his father or mother. You nullify the word of God in favor of your tradition."

It is easy to fall into the trap of nullifying the word of God in order to follow man-made traditions. It is being done before our very eyes by those who dismiss taking care of the poor and needy in favor of the rich and following "party lines"--it's a tradition to do so, some argue.  God's commandments are ignored in favor of the party. The right thing to do is ignored in favor of peer pressure. "Everyone does it," some say and thus justify their actions to break the commandments and love as Jesus loved.

When and how do I fall into this trap, going along with whatever when I know God is calling me to faithfulness to the Commandments and to the teachings in the Gospels!

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