Human Tradition

Greetings on this the Tuesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings: Gn 1:20—2:4a; PS 8:4-5, 6-7, 8-9; Mk 7:1-13

Note: today begins the second Impeachment trial of former President Donald R Trump. He was charged while still a sitting President and this is the continuation of the process.

Human Tradition

Perhaps I can copy a footnote here from the New American Bible, Revised Edition (NABRE).

Against the Pharisees’ narrow, legalistic, and external practices of piety in matters of purification, external worship, and observance of commandments, Jesus sets in opposition the true moral intent of the divine law. But he goes beyond contrasting the law and Pharisaic interpretation of it. The parable of Mk 7:14–15 in effect sets aside the law itself in respect to clean and unclean food. He thereby opens the way for unity between Jew and Gentile in the kingdom of God, intimated by Jesus’ departure for pagan territory beyond Galilee.

Weightier Matters

Jesus isn’t obviating all human traditions. He is warning about human traditions that take on an importance to the community higher than divine law. However, even there, Jesus is setting aside contemporary understanding of divine law in favor of a new understanding where such new understanding frees the people from an inferior understanding, even to outright negation of the practice of a divine law that is a subordinate law to the weightier matters of law.

Jeus brings two cases forward:
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.

and again

Honor your father and your mother,
and Whoever curses father or mother shall die.


It takes discernment to know the differences.

We place high imporance to our Constitutional way of self governance. We place a high standard of behavior of our repsentative and elected officials in their official conduct.

Uncomfortable Language

I take exception to the excessive use of sacred language for the institutions of our Constitution, legal system and the democratic process. All parties seem to place the highest of possible meaning of the governance above that of the Commandments. In no small part in error.

Egregious Behavior

Even still, as Jesus indicated, the behavior of the former President seems to be a severe violation of divine law that must be addressed.

  1. Vain do they worship me – the expression of vanity (I will not concede) while promoting scared law.
  2. Honor your father and your mother – protecting people including the elected among us is a primary role.

Be On Guard

Every person involved in the forming and reforming our governance has a sacred obligation to discern wisely their actions and their intentions. In no way are others innocent of missing the mark.

Today, however, we are interested in one basic fact. Does ANY of our governance matter if the the primary one to uphold refuses to do so. Both divine and human good set aside for vanity.

Peace be with you,
Deacon Gerry

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