Homily for Tuesday of the 5th Week in Ordinary Time Year II
Theme: Say what you mean and mean what you say.
By: Fr. Benny Tuazon
Homily for Tuesday February 11 2020
(Mk. 7:1-13) Tuesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel Jesus deals with the classic hypocrisy of the scribes and the Pharisees. Jesus and His apostles were being accused of breaking tradition by not doing the act of purification before eating. Jesus responded by addressing the intention of the Pharisees. For Jesus, the act of purification is a good addition to the teaching of gratitude and respect for God. It was not necessarily an etiquette practice or good table manners. It has a lot to do with their relationship with God.
However, the Pharisees had dwelt on the addition rather than the essence.
In response, Jesus pointed out their lip-service-no-heart witnessing and bad practice of tradition. He pointed out the practice of “qorban”, an offering dedicated to God. They taught that as long as you offer to God (which actually goes to the temple), it is right even if it will entail hardships or deprivation of support to their parents. Yet, they teach children to honour and always respect their parents. The point of Jesus is how can you say you honour your parents when you practically abandon them and gave your qorban as a reason? Jesus saw here the vested interest of the Pharisees.
Words are necessary for communication. Words express what we feel, think and intend. Words are limited. They depend on the vocabulary of the speaker and the hearer. More importantly, words much come from the heart. “Say what you mean and mean what you say.” That will be authenticity and not hypocrisy. Once we say and deceive others by saying the opposite of what we mean, we have not only hurt others but ourselves too.
Jesus also said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.” (Mt.7:21) Work must accompany words. Notice that in Genesis, when God created the world, creation happens immediately after the word of God. God is our model. He never said anything which He had not done, even dying for us for love of us. God knew that words are not enough. Jesus, the Word of God became flesh. Words, no matter how beautiful can only do so much. It is in the living of those words that we are saved.
For all of us FB users, how many of us who post biblical passages, inspiring quotes, and words of wisdom had lived them first?