Thought for Tuesday, 18th week in ordinary time

Thought for Tuesday, 18th week in ordinary time.

Matthew 15:1-2, 10-14 
Some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They do not wash their hands when they eat a meal.”

He summoned the crowd and said to them, “Hear and understand. It is not what enters one’s mouth that defiles the man; but what comes out of the mouth is what defiles one.”

Then his disciples approached and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard what you said?”

He said in reply, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”

Commentary by Fr. Burke Masters
Director of the Vocations Office, Diocese of Joliet, Illinois

In today’s world we often have an attitude of relativism: “If it works for you, go for it.” We are afraid to look at objective truth. We don’t want to offend anyone.

Well, look at what Jesus does in this reading today:

The Jews during Jesus’ time had many ritual washings; when you entered someone’s home, or before you ate.

Jesus and His disciples did not do this. Jesus basically says that it is not about the ritual washings, it is about what comes from within.

The Pharisees were offended that Jesus would not follow the Jewish law, but He didn’t back down. He called them blind guides, leading the blind.

Now some people would try to interpret this as Jesus was a rebel and He threw out all rules. Therefore anything goes.

No. We can see from Jesus’ other teachings, that He did not just open the doors for anything. He talked clearly about what was right and wrong. He talked about serious consequences for those who didn’t listen, as He does in this reading about the Pharisees.

Sometimes the Word of God offends people. Usually this happens when someone is living in a situation that is contrary to the Gospel. We must be careful, though, not to beat people up with the Word of God. It must be shared with love.

The TRUTH with LOVE, always.

Let us reflect on our own lives. Am I living in the truth? Do I justify actions that go against the Word of God? Does the truth hurt sometimes? And am I able to share the truth with love, when the situation calls for it?

Submitted by Don H.