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Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Be a doer, do your best and make it happen, Donate to help build Calayan Church

Do your best and make it happen

There are several Chapels in Calayan , Cagayan which need repairs. This is an opportune time to do your best and make it happen by donating to build a chapel in Calayan, Cagayan, Philippines. You may contact directly Fr. Rommel Olivar, O.P. in his facebook  aka Magister Ludi  at https://bit.ly/2otO8

Sunday Gospel Reflections
Fr. Toto Cerada, SDB
Mary Help of Christians Parish, Calamba City

Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading 1 DT 4:1-2, 6-8

Moses said to the people:
“Now, Israel, hear the statutes and decrees
which I am teaching you to observe,
that you may live, and may enter in and take possession of the land
which the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you.
In your observance of the commandments of the LORD, your God,
which I enjoin upon you,
you shall not add to what I command you nor subtract from it.
Observe them carefully,
for thus will you give evidence
of your wisdom and intelligence to the nations,
who will hear of all these statutes and say,
‘This great nation is truly a wise and intelligent people.’
For what great nation is there
that has gods so close to it as the LORD, our God, is to us
whenever we call upon him?
Or what great nation has statutes and decrees
that are as just as this whole law
which I am setting before you today?”

Responsorial Psalm PS 15:2-3, 3-4, 4-5

R. (1a) The one who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.

Whoever walks blamelessly and does justice;
who thinks the truth in his heart
and slanders not with his tongue.

R. The one who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.

Who harms not his fellow man,
nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor;
by whom the reprobate is despised,
while he honors those who fear the LORD.

R. The one who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.
Who lends not his money at usury
and accepts no bribe against the innocent.
Whoever does these things
shall never be disturbed.

R. The one who does justice will live in the presence of the Lord.

Reading 2 JAS 1:17-18, 21B-22, 27

Dearest brothers and sisters:
All good giving and every perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of lights,
with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change.
He willed to give us birth by the word of truth
that we may be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you
and is able to save your souls.

Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this:
to care for orphans and widows in their affliction
and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Alleluia JAS 1:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Father willed to give us birth by the word of truth
that we may be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MK 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem
gathered around Jesus,
they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals
with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands.
—For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews,
do not eat without carefully washing their hands,
keeping the tradition of the elders.
And on coming from the marketplace
they do not eat without purifying themselves.
And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed,
the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds. —
So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him,
“Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders
but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?”
He responded,
“Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written:
This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines human precepts.
You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.”

He summoned the crowd again and said to them,
“Hear me, all of you, and understand.
Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person;
but the things that come out from within are what defile.

“From within people, from their hearts,
come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder,
adultery, greed, malice, deceit,
licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.
All these evils come from within and they defile.”

Tradition

Twenty Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
September 2, 2018
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

“You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.” (Mk. 7:8)

In today’s Gospel, Jesus seems to denounce all traditions. However, this position is rather simplistic and unattainable. The reason is that human beings are the creatures of traditions. Tradition comes from Latin word, “tradere”, meaning “to hand down”. Thus, crudely put, tradition is anything that has been handed down from our predecessors. Traditions range from something tangible like technologies and fashions, to something intangible like values, languages, sciences and many more. I remember how my mother taught me basic Christian prayers, like Our Father, Hail Mary, and the Rosary, and how my father would regularly bring us to the Church every Sunday. This is my family’s religious traditions. As an Indonesian living in the Philippines, I appreciate the “Mano Po” tradition among the Filipinos. This is a simple gesture of respect and blessing. The younger Filipinos are to hold a hand of older Filipino, and place it on their forehead.

Had Jesus renounced all the traditions, He should have stopped speaking Aramaic, refrained from teaching the people, begun removing all His Jewish clothes, and walking naked! Yet, Jesus did not do those things. Jesus respects traditions and acknowledges their importance. However, Jesus also recognizes that there are some traditions that are problematic and bring more problems rather than solutions. Immersed in the stream of traditions, Jesus invites us to discern well on what traditions that bring us true worship of God and genuine progress for human society.

Going back to the time of Jesus, the Jews are particular with ritual purity because they can only worship God when they are ritually clean. In view of this worship, they carefully avoid contamination from blood, dead body and unclean animals, or any objects that are in contact with these things. Since they are not sure whether their hands and utensils are ritually clean, especially if they come from the marketplace or the fields, they make it a habit to purify their hands and utensils to evade contamination from uncleanliness. Thus, various purification rituals develop into traditions for the Jews. The intention of these traditions is good because they assist people to worship God. However, some of the Pharisees put excessive emphasis on these traditions and make them absolute as if failure to observe these rituals means they fail to revere God. They confuse between the genuine worship that brings true honor for God, and other traditional practices that assist people in achieving this worship.

Jesus does not only invite us to discern carefully various traditions we have, but Jesus also offers us a more fundamental tradition in worshiping God. Instead of “handing down” practices or things, Jesus hands down something most important, namely His own life for God and us. Jesus gives up His Body and Blood, His total self, in the Last Supper, and this sacrifice reaches its summit at the Cross. His self-offering becomes the most pleasing worship to God, and procures the gift of salvation for all of us. Because of His Tradition, the world is no longer the same. Jesus hands over this great Tradition to His Disciples and throughout the generations, the Christians are faithfully offering this sacrifice of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. As we partake Jesus’ self-offering, we are also empowered to hand down ourselves to others. This means we are invited to make our daily sacrifices, to persevere in doing good, and to be faithful to our commitments either as spouse, parents, priests, religious, or professionals. As we live this greatest tradition daily, we do not only make the world a better place, but to offer a pleasing worship to God.

Br. Valentinus Bayuahadi Ruseno, OP

When others left because of the shocking scandals in the Church and the Church’s teachings which are hard to accept, may we say as Peter did: “Master, to whom shall we go?” Stick to Jesus. He is the answer to this world’s mess. In him, enjoy life and love at their best.

“He who has the power also holds the platter.” To denounce injustice committed by those in power may land ur head on a platter. Nvr be afraid to confront those in power. Fear only the power that has power over fear.

2 some extent, we r pretenders & hypocrites, by choice or by force. 4 not evri1 cn accept us as we r w/ our warts & scars. Jz strive 2 be gud inside-out. God sees inside. Nvr mind d “out”.

Experience teaches us some patterns of behaviors & expectations. Thus, one is fool or wise 2 d extent tht he does or does not do wat he is expected 2 do. Know Jesus’ commandments. Dnt be a fool. Obey him. Salvation is a wise decision

Fr. Ramon T. Salibay, O.P.

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