Mumbai Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) | Daily scripture reflection 9th February 2021

Daily scripture reflection 9th February 2021

9th February, 2021
Initiative of the Ministry of the Word group Gen 1:20-2:4; Ps 8:4-9 Mk 7:1-13
Feb 9th, 2021 – Tuesday of the 5th week in ord. time
Gen 1:20-2:4; Ps 8:4-9
Mk 7:1-13

The first reading continues from where we left off yesterday. God addresses the chaos in nature, described as being a “formless void”, by creating the form -yesterday’s reading- and now focusses on filling the void. The crown of God’s creation is man whom God creates in “his image and likeness”. To be made in the image and likeness of someone means to be their child. This notion is backed up by the next verse where he blesses them with the first command to humanity in the entire Bible, “Be fruitful and multiply”. He then gives them dominion over the whole of creation. God allows man whom he created in his image and likeness to share in his creative plan.
God then makes the first covenant with humanity, binding it to himself by blessing the Seventh day. There is a play of words here for the Hebrew word “Sheba” means both Seven as well as “to swear an oath”

It is obvious then for the Psalmist to exclaim, “What is man that you keep him in mind, mortal man that you care for him?”

The Gospel is a scene of a confrontation. Right from the beginning, even before the scene unfolds, Mark tells us that “The Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus” This gathering is not one of adulation for Jesus but has a more sinister note to it and in its usage resembles Ps 2:2 where the nations are gathered against the Lord and his anointed. Then comes the attack against the disciples – and in a veiled way against Jesus!
The Pharisees confront Jesus about the disciples not washing their hands before a meal. This is not a washing for cleaning the hands but a ritual among what is described as the Tradition of the Elders. The washing of hands was a prescription only for priests and not for the laity (Exod 30:18-21; 40:31; Lev 15:11). But the Pharisees in their zeal believed that every Jew should live like a priest and every Jewish house should be like the Temple. This was the basis of their attack on Jesus.
Jesus’ rebuttal comes not from Tradition but from God’s Word. Scripture was obviously far superior to the Pharisaic traditions and the Pharisees couldn’t argue about that. Jesus, using Isaiah 29:13 interprets it to show-cause the Pharisees with their “hypocrisy” since they lay aside Divine treaching for their own Tradition. This hypocrisy is deep rooted and is a sign of a deeper malady where the hearts is swayed away from God and hinges on to the sway of human tradition instead.
Jesus spotlights their hypocrisy by again quoting the Scriptures about the care due towards one’s parents (Exod 20:12 // Deut 5:16). The central point here is the complete antithesis between the Divine Will and the Pharisaic Tradition which in effect “nullifies” God’s Word.

The readings then point out how God gives us power and authority to be his sons and daughters and how easily we can cultivate our own “traditions” thus forgetting the source of this very power and privilege of being created in God’s image and likeness.

Today then might be a good day to start introspecting – looking deeper into our thoughts and actions… do they really correspond to the image and likeness of God?