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Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

August 29, 2021

Twenty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

In today’s Gospel, Jesus encounters some of his opponents in Jerusalem, the center of formal opposition to Him.  These opponents often called Him out for minor changes from the established way of doing things religious while ignoring more serious matters.  

In all four Gospels, Jesus is found at odds with the religious authorities of his time, usually they were Pharisees, scribes, and Sadducees.  Jesus did not have a problem with these groups in general.  His trouble occurred when their strong beliefs in traditions prevented charity.  Today, Jesus quotes the prophet Isaiah, “Well did Isaiah prophesy about you … This people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”  St. Mark continues, “You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.” 

Our readings today are concerned with the connection between our heart and our actions.  Moses speaks to the Israelites before they move into the promised land.  He reminds them that the law of the Lord is just and will show Israel’s wisdom.  Hearing the word and desiring it in the heart must come first.  Conversion of the heart always has primary importance for Moses and all the prophets.  This conversion leads one to act with love. 

For Jesus, all action takes root in selfless love.  Outward appearances do not matter, but virtue and obedience do matter to the Lord.  We are called to love, as disciples, not to just speak the Gospel but to live it out joyfully, as witnesses of Christ. 

Have a blessed week!  Fr. Len

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