Deuteronomy 4:1-2,6-8; Psalms 15:2-5; James 1:17-18,21-22,27; Mark 7:1-8,14-15,21-23
On her way out of morning services, a faithful churchgoer enthusiastically grasped the preacher’s hand and said, “Pastor, your sermon today was truly wonderful — absolutely wonderful,” she repeated. “In fact, everything you said applies to someone I know.”
Today’s Gospel Lesson applies not only to someone we know but to each and every one of us. We read that Jesus and the Pharisees are engaged in a debate over some of the religious traditions of the time. Now, there is nothing wrong with being a traditionalist. Jesus was a traditionalist in His religious practices. He read the Scriptures. He worshipped and even preached in the synagogue. As a child, He had been circumcised and presented in the Temple, according to the Jewish Tradition. And yet, His fidelity to tradition was constantly being challenged by the Pharisees. And in today’s Gospel Lesson, they are at it again.
As you know, the Hebrew Tradition contained a great many dietary laws and customs, among which was the…