The Pharisees and some scribes had come from Jerusalem….
They are faithful observers of the law…. with their qualities, but also with their faults…. like each one of us! They have zeal for the Word of God: they read It, study It, and teach It. But they are not sufficiently concerned about the light of the Spirit to understand It. They remain stuck with their human interpretation, and they want to impose that on others.
Why do Your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders?
They challenge You about the behaviour of some of Your disciples: They take their meals without washing their hand …. what a scandal! We are tempted to smile …. and yet!
Isn’t it just the same with us also sometimes, even during the Eucharistic Feast? Often we argue about ways of doing it dating from past centuries…. and forget Your commandment, Lord: Love one another. Our attention focuses on a detail of the tradition of the elders, for example the way to receive Communion, to the detriment of what is essential: the communion of the Father and of our brothers with You, Jesus.
How we deserve, then, the rebuke You address to the scribes: This people honours Me with lip-service, but their hearts are far from Me! The most important thing is not concern for adherence to the rubrics; it is faith and love which should fill our hearts. Preserve us, Lord, from setting aside the commandments of God and clinging to human traditions! For this, come and purify our hearts. Make us attentive to Your Word.
Listen to Me all of you and understand!
The badness to be erased is not firstly that which we think we see in others, it is what’s within us. It is from inside, from the heart of man that evil comes. You describe this evil to Your disciples with a dozen examples … What insistence! You make us understand in this way that the task to be done begins with the purification of our own heart! Through Communion, come Yourself, Lord, to do this work in us!