Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time 29 August 2021

Another dreadful week for humanity.

One would think that Covid would be enough to keep us united, but no. Another suicide bombing and the fall out of a seemingly badly executed plan to leave Afghanistan causes panic and fear amongst people.

During the week, Psalm 25(26) was prayed in the formal prayer of the Church. You may have noticed these lines…

“Do not sweep me away with sinners, nor my life with bloodthirsty men in whose hands are evil plots, whose right hands are filled with gold.”

These lines took me to the central verse of our Gospel today 7:15, “Nothing that goes into a man from outside can make him unclean; it is the things that come out of a man that make him unclean.”

We know that the saying applies to all people, but sometimes we males have more to answer for.

The antidote proposed by Jesus, applicable in all circumstances, was for the people to really look at the essential teaching of their tradition (and listen to him and his restoration of the essential teaching of that tradition).

So, too, for us.

We often haggle over non-essentials.

Sixty years ago, the Second Vatican Council urged the whole Church to reassess her teaching and practices in the light of revelation, a call increasingly shouted out by our current Pope.

We all need to rediscover the beauty of the scripture with all its thrills and spills. It tackles the way to release us from our shackles.

“Accept and submit to the word which has been planted in you…” says James in the second reading.

As we return to Mark for the final set of Sundays in Year B, we notice the opposition to Jesus heating up. He tries to remind the hecklers to go back to the sources of their tradition. Time and time again they argue for their interpretation. He, however, wants them to rediscover the “Word that has come down from heaven”. So, too, for us!

Make time each day to have a chat with the author of the “saving Word”.

Mons Frank