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February 8, 2016

Monday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

The good news for the Day

To Pharisees critical of Him, Jesus answers: ‘If somebody tells his father or mother, “Any support you might have had from me is qorban”’ (meaning, set aside for God), you allow the man to do nothing more for his father or mother. You nullify the word of God in favor of your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many such things.” (Mark 7)

How many customs, habits and prejudices you have that “allow” you to avoid natural consequences. It is so much broader than just obligations and responsibilities you owe parents. It touches on many “such things,” which your and I rationalize to our advantage—wiggling away from “the kingdom of what is right.”

The Good News here is that you hear it—you hear the Good News—which means awakening to the truth that your conscience tells you—the voice which so many times in the past you shushed. It is the Word of God—that everyone is your brother and sister. It is the Word of God that you have been given care of even strangers in need. It is the Word of God that you are called to grieve with the sorrowful, hunger for justice, seek to make peace, forgive as you are forgiven, and suffer persecution with patience and even joy—and not whine or play the victim.

It is an outlook, a Spirit, Jesus is pointing out. Not individual moralisms. Not statements of religious belief—but your growth, your living and developing care for one another, your effort, in prayer, to find the right thing to do, no matter what culture, tradition, powerful personalities, past principles, pressures from friends and family—no matter what any tell you. The Good News is your awakening to “what is right”—your decisiveness to do the right thing, contrary to every other voice of the past.

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