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September 3rd, 2006 A.D. - 22d Sunday in Ordinary Time  Mk 7/1-23
Catholic Homilies
September 3rd, 2006 A.D.

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22d Sunday in Ordinary Time Mk 7/1-23


  Some of the powerful people down in Jerusalem were hearing rumors of Jesus’s success up in Galilee and hurried up there to investigate him. Jesus was not only preaching strange notions about the salvation of the gentiles, which he had read in the Prophet Isaiah but he was showing disrespect for the temple priesthood and for the law. So they decided to pick an argument with him not about Isaiah – how could one debate with the strange vision of that most mysterious of prophets – but to trip him up on the behavior of his followers. This would be the first of many such debates which Jesus always one, mostly because he knew God better that the scribes did but also because he was quicker than they were. However, he was probably doing it for the record, so that his followers would know that, while Jesus respected the law, he had no patience with legalisms.

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  Once upon a time a very, very conservative Catholic came to complain to his pastor. The new Pope has let us down, he protested. He’s a great disappointment. Ah, said the pastor who professed to be  a liberal Catholic though in fact he was a closet moderate. I thought he was going to restore the church the way it used to be. He’s wearing his prada slippers and his santa claus cap but he really isn’t doing what God wants. Ah, said the priest again. What does God want. Well said the man, he wants all those women off the altar. Women should be reading the scriptures or distributing Communion, or directing music, not even if they’re nuns. Indeed, said the pastor. And he should put the mass back into Latin, that’s God’s language. Why did we have to change it. Actually said the pastor, maybe it should go back into Aramaic. That was Jesus’ language. And he should make priests wear their roman collars all the time. Just like the apostles did, said the priest who was now beginning to enjoy himself. He knew that the man never listened to what he said, but only wanted to recite his list of complaints. I just want our old traditional Catholic Church back again. What’s tradition? The pastor asked. Well the way it was when I was growing up.

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