“This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”

Moving to chapter seven of Mark (vv. 1-13) after finishing the previous chapter yesterday, Jesus is again pursued by the Pharisees and scribes.  This time, Jesus is questioned about why certain of His disciples do not follow Pharisaic law regarding hand washing.  Jesus berates the questioners for holding on to traditions developed by their party, even to the point of using them to overrule (“nullify” — v. 13)  Mosaic law from God.  Thus the line at the top of this post, which has Jesus quoting Isaiah (29:13).  Elsewhere, Jesus said, “Not every one who says to me, `Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Mt 7:21)  Today we would say “Actions speak louder than words.”  Not that words are unimportant, but our actions and dispositions should match the goods things that come from our mouths.  An ongoing conversion of heart is possible most efficaciously through the Sacraments, which are the ordinary channels of grace that God provided through Jesus’ institution.  We must take advantage of these often, so that our hearts and lips are both used more perfectly for God’s glory.

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