September 6 Gospel Reading

Mark 6:54 – 7:8
[54] And when they were come out of the ship, straightway they knew him,[55] And ran through that whole region round about, and began to carry about in beds those that were sick, where they heard he was.[56] And whithersoever he entered, into villages, or cities, or country, they laid the sick in the streets, and besought him that they might touch if it were but the border of his garment: and as many as touched him were made whole.[1] Then came together unto him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem.[2] And when they saw some of his disciples eat bread with defiled, that is to say, with unwashen, hands, they found fault.[3] For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. [4]And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables.[5] Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands?[6] He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. [7]Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctines the commandments of men. [8]For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.

Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic in his Prolog said:

“Let me ponder on the Lord Jesus among the Scribes and Pharisees: 1. How He labored to elevate the Scribes and Pharisees and to save them, and how they labored to put Him down and kill Him. 2. How He sought to correct each though and word of theirs, and how they sought to distort each thought and word of His. 3. How He mourned that He could not bring them to life, and how they regretted that they could not bring Him to death.”

Clement of Rome wrote in I Clement 15:1-4:

“So let us devote ourselves to those at peace in their devotion to God, and not to those who seek peace through hypocrisy. For he says in one place: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.’ And again: ‘They blessed with their mouth, but they cursed in their heart.’ And again he says, ‘They flattered him with their mouths; they lied to him with their tongues. Their heart was not steadfast toward him; they were not true to his covenant.'”

Irenaeus wrote in his Against Heresies:

“The Pharisees claimed that the traditions of their elders safeguarded the law, but in fact it contravened the law Moses had given. By saying: Your merchants mix water with the wine, Isaiah shows that the elders mixed their watery tradition with God’s strict commandment. They enjoined an adulterated law at cross-purposes with the divine law. The Lord made this clear when he asked them: Why do you transgress God’s commandment for the sake of your tradition? By their transgression they not only falsified God’s law, mixing water with the wine, but they also set against it their own law, called to this day the Pharisaic law. In this their rabbis suppress some of the commandments, add new ones, and give others their own interpretation, thus making the law serve their own purposes.”


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