“These people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me” (Mark 7: 6).
Dear brothers and sisters, the Pharisees are upset because Jesus and His disciples eat and drink without washing hands. We know that by an oral tradition that we receive from others, which passed from person to person, the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands without washing cups, pots, copper pots and all the utensils for power; and that there is an excess of rigor to wash their hands and so on.
It exists today in our midst, many people who have an excess of careful cleaning. We all need to be clean, hygienic, but be careful because the excesses seem an obsession! And the obsession with cleanliness is something very terrible because one sees dirt everywhere; for all the places that she looks, it seems there is dirt. And it will create within itself prejudices and misconceptions, she distrusts the cleaning of any glass in any dish.
The Pharisees, described in today’s Gospel, do it with a certain amount of evil. You know those people who do not speak, but think [something against someone]? You know those people who sometimes greet you and always look suspicious, wanting to tell you this or that? Judging you, interpreting according to their concepts and prejudices.
We often do it too! And that risk and danger of being rejected by God, because we honor Him with our lips, praise Him, glorify Him, and bless, then stretch our hands and our tongues to receive the Eucharist, but often our hearts is far from him!
We can not deny it, but even among us, Jesus’ followers, how many times do we let evil grow within us! Evil against others, against situations; we can only look at things from the perspective of evil. So we know that slander is born, accusations, but above all gossip.
Gossip is something for people who have questionable character. It is for those who have no courage or willingness to say what needs to be spoken or are silent when it is necessary. This person is lives creating situations to talk about this or that. Of gossip is born the greatest evils is born misinterpretations, born the labels we play with and create on people. It is no distant comparison, but is very close for helping us to understand that self-righteousnessness leads to gossip. Are the Pharisees who think Jesus. The gossips today think Jesus in another way: they do through their children, siblings, followers and disciples of Him.
So if we want to be less the Pharisees in life, we must not give in to gossips: we need to stop being gossips! And we can not allow this evil, which is called “gossip” or “slander”, a part of our life.
Jesus loved and welcomed everyone, the worst sinners, according to our concepts, but had no way to host the Pharisee who was full of malice or who was gossiping maliciously.
May God purify our hearts! Do not just honor Him with your lips, because our heart is full of evil. This purification is from the Lord.
God bless you!
Father Roger Araujo
Priest of the New Song Community, journalist and member of the New Song Portal team.