Mumbai Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) | Daily scripture reflection 10th February 2021

Daily scripture reflection 10th February 2021

10th February, 2021
Initiative of the Ministry of the Word group Gen 2:4-9,15-17; Ps 103:1-2,27-30, Mk 7:14-23
Feb 10th, 2021 – Wednesday of the 5th week in ord. time
Gen 2:4-9,15-17; Ps 103:1-2,27-30
Mk 7:14-23

The first reading provides us a second account of Creation. Whilst the first focused on God’s meticulous planning and ordering of Creation, the second account focusses on God’s Fatherly care in fashioning man. As a potter carefully crafts a pot, so God is described as having “fashioned man from the dust of the soil” and “breathing into his nostrils the breath of life” thus making man “a living being”.
The reading then goes on to lay out the scene not just for Genesis but the rest of the Bible’s storyline. We are introduced to two trees with the admonition under pain of death to not eat from these trees. Death here apparently refers to man’s ultimate destiny and not merely the cessation of life.

The gospel passage continues Jesus’ confrontation with the Pharisees and the scribes from Jerusalem. The confrontation began with them asking Jesus a question about the ritual washing of hands which his disciples had apparently not adhered to. Thus far, Jesus hasn’t answered the question but rather focused on pointing out the hypocrisy of the Pharisee party. Today’s passage answers the question but the addressees are not the Pharisees and the scribes because they have already been denounced for their hypocrisy. Jesus now turns to address the crowds – a further denouncement of the Pharisees- pointing out that “it is not what goes into a man that makes him unclean but what comes out of him…” He thus strikes at the very heart of the Pharisaic argument that if an unclean external object (unwashed hands) were to touch another external object (bread), it would render the person consuming that object (bread) as unclean. In lashing out at the Pharisaic preoccupation with rituals Jesus echoes what Israel’s prophets have always been saying regarding the rituals of Israelite worship (Amos 5:21-57; Hos 6:6; Isa 1:11-17).
Throughout this argument Mark time and again uses the Greek word “Anthropos” (meaning man) to highlight that human tradition, no matter how laudable its original intention may have been, will always end up suffocating revelation because of a basic warp in man that corrupts everything he touches, including the Word of God. In admonishing the Pharisees then, Jesus draws attention to the root of the problem – the human heart!

The Psalmist then, rightly points to the littleness of man- “If you remove your Spirit, they die”. Let us then pray with the Psalmist “Send forth your Spirit O Lord and renew the face of the earth”