“Why do Your disciples not follow the tradition of our ancestors, but instead take food without purifying their hands?” –Mark 7:5
The Pharisees and experts in the Law were very concerned about purification. They scrupulously washed their hands, food, cups, jugs, and kettles (Mk 7:3-4). They were centuries ahead of modern science, which eventually discovered that antiseptic conditions prevent the spread of infection.
Jesus agreed with the Jewish religious leaders on the importance of purification. However, He taught that the purification of hands, food, and utensils was not nearly as important as the purification of our relationships. Jesus brought up the example of children dedicating their wealth to God to make it unavailable for supporting their parents (Mk 7:11-12). Jesus intimated that these child-parent relationships needed to be purified of such things as selfishness, greed, bitterness, and unforgiveness.
We spend thousands of dollars on washers and dryers to purify our clothes and dishes. We spend billions on sewage systems, street cleaning, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Yet how concerned are we about purifying our relationships? Do we love the Lord with a pure, repentant heart, uncompromised with the world? Is there anyone that we haven’t forgiven? Are our relationships purified of selfishness, lust, and bitterness? Do we seek purification through the Sacrament of Reconciliation? Are we “consecrated by the Spirit to a life of obedience to Jesus Christ and purification with His blood?” (1 Pt 1:2)
PRAYER: Father, make me pure as Jesus is pure (1 Jn 3:3).
PROMISE: “May Your eyes watch night and day over this Temple, the place where You have decreed You shall be honored; may You heed the prayer which I, Your servant, offer in this place.” –1 Kgs 8:29
PRAISE: George forgave his alcoholic father.