CATHEDRAL OF ST. HELENA

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  • Deacon Bob Fishman

Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year B

This week’s readings deal with the subject of the commandments of God. People often have a misconception when they hear the word “commandment”. Our blessed Lord is a loving Father who wanted the very best for His children, and still does. Therefore, He gave us commandments to teach us how to live well with each other. He did not do this for other nations.

Did you know that almost every authentic legal system in the world is based on the Ten Commandments? This is quite astounding to think on. In our first reading from Deuteronomy, God is beginning to establish the basic outline for the commandments. However, soon men began to add their own mini-commandments to the mix. These were designed to keep people from even getting close to breaking the major commandments. This led to hypocrisy and a way of life that could not be sustained. There were 613 commandments developed and the burden of trying to live these out was next to impossible.


In today’s Gospel, our blessed Lord Jesus is confronted by Pharisees who are questioning why Jesus’ disciples are not keeping some of these commandments. Our Lord sees through their hypocrisy and gets right to the heart of the issue by causing them to look inward at themselves. He tells them that what makes one unclean comes from the inside, from their own heart and evil thoughts and unclean deeds. He challenges them and us to go to a place that forces us to look at our own lives and examine our own hearts. Sometimes this is not such a pretty picture, yet it must be done so that we can live right and do what we ought, not always what we want. St. James does not mince words when he tells us to be doers of the word and not hearers only. We are called to take care of each other, the widows and orphans. In other words, to practice what we preach and live it out. So this week, take some time to examine your own heart. What is truly on the inside? Ask God to help you grow in your love for Him, and you will be incredibly transformed in your walk with the one who made you…Something to think about…May God richly bless you always…

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