Thursday, August 30, 2012

Meditation for the 14th Sunday after Pentecost: “…less listening to internal tradition and more attention to the Word…”

Song of Solomon 2:8-13
Psalm 45:1-2, 7-10
James 1:17-27
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

We spring through the Hebrew Bible reading and psalm, smelling the blossoming vines and scented robes of a royal wedding. Then we hear James discuss pure and undefiled religion. This provides a perfect lead-in to Jesus’ retort to the Pharisees who had accused his disciples of eating with defiled hands: “You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.” Jesus explains further that it’s what comes from within that can defile a person. As church communities, we tend to cling on to internal tradition that inhibits our care for those in distress. We lose our fragrance and become stale, or worse. We forget why we are Church, like those who “look at themselves, and, on going away (from the mirror), immediately forget what they were like.” Pray that in the days ahead we can look less to internal tradition and more to the Word, Jesus Christ, our Beloved.