YEAR B: HOMILY FOR THE 22ND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: LIVING ACCORDING TO GOD’S TRADITION
BY: Fr. Cosmas Ukadike, C.M.
May I wish you all the very best in this new month of September.
Tradition has been defined as the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way. A tradition is also a belief or behavior passed down within a group or society with symbolic meaning or special significance with origins in the past.
God’s tradition as opposed to human tradition, is been discussed today.
This based on the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ which are centered on genuine love for God and our neighbours.
In today’s reading we see that part of the tradition that was carried over from Judaism into Christianity was the washing of hands before eating.
This was a religious ritual of cleansing and also the washing of cups, pots and bronze kettles (Mk 7, 6-8). These are not really necessary in Christianity.
But this was the kind of tradition that occupied the minds of the Pharesees and the scribes, thus blocking them from the true worship of God. They so believed in the observances of these Jewish laws that when they did not see the disciples of Jesus observing them they were troubled and so had to confront Jesus on this issue (Mk 7, 14-15).
Jesus had to refer them to the book of the prophet Isaiah who was blunt in calling them hypocrites. This is because their worship was a mere lip service and their hearts are far from God (Isaiah 29,13).
For this kind of worship is vain worship and does not please the Lord.
Jesus is therefore urging us to focus attention on worshiping God in spirit and Truth. He calls us to pay attention to the things that really matters some of which St James has generously highlighted in today’s 2nd reading: Caring for the orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world (James 1,27).
This is a call to live a holy life in love and uprightness.
Such that to live contrary to this way, is to have abandoned the commandment of God and to hold on to human tradition. (MK 7, 15). We pray for God’s grace to enable us live out the God tradition, by our love for God and one another. Have a blessed week filled with God’s blessings.
Fr. Cosmas Ukadike, C.M.