February 7, 2017
Tuesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
The Gospel Today
When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem
gathered around Jesus,
they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals
with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands.
(For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews,
do not eat without carefully washing their hands,
keeping the tradition of the elders.
And on coming from the marketplace
they do not eat without purifying themselves.
And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed,
the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds.)
So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him,
“Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders
but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?”
“Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites,
as it is written:
This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines human precepts.
You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.”
He went on to say,
“How well you have set aside the commandment of God
in order to uphold your tradition!
For Moses said,
Honor your father and your mother,
and Whoever curses father or mother shall die.
Yet you say,
‘If someone says to father or mother,
“Any support you might have had from me is qorban”‘
(meaning, dedicated to God),
you allow him to do nothing more for his father or mother.
You nullify the word of God
in favor of your tradition that you have handed on.
And you do many such things.”
REFLECTION (Sem. Eric Yabut)
In the Gospel narrative, the Pharisees questioned the actions of the disciples of Jesus because they did not believe Him. But Jesus defends those who follow Him and He knows them well because they follow His teachings. To Jesus, it is not what enters our mouth that counts, it is what comes out of our mouth.
I opt not to give alms to street children because doubt is the first thing that comes to my mind. Sometimes I was about to give some alms to them, but a friend has said that they might use the money to support their vices. There’s a point in that but where is compassion there? Sometimes, we tend not to do what we think is right because we just follow what other people are saying. My will has been influenced because of doubt fed by my friends. Being judgmental is not a good sign of being a good Christian. To be one with Christ, I must be a good example of being a good disciple of His teachings. I was moved to act accordingly on what Jesus has taught.
Reflecting on the Gospel passage, I was invited by Jesus to wholeheartedly follow His will and act on His teaching through the Holy Eucharist – the mystery of Christ’s body and blood. It is the invitation of Christ to us to act and move forward from our past. We are living in the modern world now, the invitation of the Gospel is not to be a pagan or hypocrite inside our Church but let go of our bad habits to have a good and worthwhile life in the future.