August 29, 2021

XXII Sunday in Ordinary Time

Year B

We fall into idolatry every time we separate the heart from the hands, the Word from life, the face of God from that of orphans and widows.

Dt 4.1-2.6-8; Ps 14 (15); Jas 1.17-18.21b-22.27; Mk 7: 1-8.14-15.21-13

To honor God with our lips we must first open our mouth, ears and heart, so that his Word can dwell in us, be at home in our actions and in our words. Thus we will not run the risk of teaching doctrines which are only the precepts of men. From the heart and from the lips the Word goes up until it reaches the hands, which in turn become pure, not because they are washed by ritual ablutions, as the Pharisees would like, but because they are capable of giving flesh to the Word that has been heard. St James reminds us: “Pure and spotless religion before God the Father is this: visiting orphans and widows in suffering and not being contaminated by this world”. The word of God educates us to keep heart and hands together, without artificial separation: Mark recalls the need to watch over the purity of the heart, James over that of the hands. The Lord, who purifies hearts, frees us from all idolatry, into which we fall every time we separate the heart from the hands, the words from the gestures, the Word from life, the face of God from that of orphans and widows. May he allow us to nourish ourselves with his Word of him who makes himself close to us to make us in turn close to all those who are in trial and need. The pure heart always needs good relationships, sincere looks, generous hands, true lips, passionate gestures of justice.

Commentary by Comunità di Dumenza

Translation by f. Mark Hargreaves, Prinknash Abbey

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