Beads of Joy 02-09-10
Their Hearts Are Far From Me
©2010 James Dacey, Jr. SFO
Today's scripture is a rather interesting reflection. In this gospel Jesus interacts and has a conversation with the Pharisees and some of the scribes. Today's gospel is Mark 7:1-13 (The Tradition of the Elders). This is all about the unwritten laws that the scribes and Pharisees considered to be as binding as the Mosaic Law. Jesus rejects the elders tradition, and He warns them against petty human teachings before the divine commandments; and those that use their tradition to avoid their obligations. Jesus is without a doubt thee authoritative one to interpret the Old Testament. Isn't it ironic that the very altar the scribes and Pharisees were using was the very altar of God the Father, while they were chastising God the Son.
How would the Pharisees and scribes expect us to approach God? Do we approach God with our hearts, and soul and mind clean and pure? The answer is a simple "NO". No one can, we are all sinners. Jesus accepts us just as we are. "This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." Romans 3:22-24, aren't we so blessed and loved, do you see why I get so excited over scripture. Here's another one. "But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions it is by grace you have been saved." Ephesians 2:4-5 God's love for us is greater than our sin, He accepts us just as we are. It's God's love that is poured out into our hearts. Father Larry Richards said it best, "If we only knew how much God loves us, we'd all be saints."
If you live by these laws and rules or any laws and rules that are not from God, but rather from man; then all they do is distance you from God. In vs.6-7 of this scripture Jesus refers to the Book of Isaiah. "He replied, "Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: 'These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men." You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men." The Lord wants us to love and obey Him, not a bunch of rules and laws a couple of people made up. God has given us His word, and we need to spend time it and learn directly from Him what it is that our lives are all about.
Anyone can be blinded easily in this world today, there many people out there doing just that to fellow believers. Sometimes we may not even realize it's happening to us in our lives. "But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with stories they have made up. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping." 2 Peter 2:1-3 Please stay on the path that leads to God. Be involved in your church community, share about your faith, build deep lasting bonds. You'll have the time of your life I promise you.
Stay loyal to a good church, study your bible and pray everyday.
Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr SFO