August 29, 2021 at St. Peter the Apostle and Saint William Parishes in Naples, FL
Deuteronomy 4, 1-2, 6-8 + Psalm 15 + James 1, 17-18, 21-27 + Mark 7, 1-8, 13-15, 21-23
Mark tells us at the beginning of this episode that these Pharisees and some Scribes came from Jerusalem. With this detail, Mark signals that these guys come with authority because Jerusalem was the place above all where purity was to be maintained, and the laws which provided purity were to be enforced. The whole system in Jerusalem was about deciding what or who was clean or unclean. If something or someone was unclean, it was restored to purity there, and you did that by keeping the law which told you what to do. … more »
Our “summer vacation” from Mark’s Gospel comes to an end this weekend, and by now we recognize that our reflection on the sixth chapter of John has not exactly been a time to rest. Every three years as this sixth chapter is put before us, we feast on the Word of God and, if we so desire, we are drawn more deeply into the meaning of the Bread of Life and confirmed more firmly in the faith we have in Jesus Christ who is now, once and for all, by the words of Peter, the Holy One, the Son of God who has come down from heaven. … more »
We have two examples set before us today by the Blessed Virgin. They are not provided to have us sit back in admiration, but rather to inspire and motivate us in our response to the Word of God made flesh.
The first example is what Mary does. Her way of responding to the favor God has shown her sends her to Elizabeth an old woman who is with child, someone in need of company, of presence, and of help. She does not sit at home enjoying the favors of God. … more »
At this point in chapter six, the crowd is unable to listen any further to Jesus. Not only are they impatient because he does not give them any more signs, but they are totally confounded by his claim to have come down from heaven when they know his clan and where they live. So, in these verses, the focus is not bread, but Jesus himself. Before he can talk about the bread and what it is, he must reveal who he is if he is the bread. … more »