Tuesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial Feast: Saint Jerome Emiliani (1486-+1537)—Patron Saint of Orphans and Abandoned Children
1 Kings 8:22-23, 27-30, Psalm 84:3, 4-5, 10, 11, & Mark 7:1-13
In today's Gospel account, the Pharisees criticize Jesus and His disciples because they ate meals with unclean hands. The Jewish culture had many rituals to which they strictly adhered, and purifying their hands before eating was one of them. Jesus answered the criticism by quoting the prophet Isaiah, "Those people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts."
Friends, it is easy to honor Jesus with our words. However, I suspect He hopes that we will not just glorify Him but love Him and give ourselves to Him, too. For our Lord, empty rituals are not sufficient because He wants to reach every one of us. He longs to have an intimate and loving relationship with each of us. He wants our mind, body, and soul. With every step we take toward Him, Jesus steps toward us.
Question of the Day: How is your relationship with Jesus this day?
Prayer: "Incline my heart, O God, to your decrees; and favor me with your law." Alleluia, alleluia.