August 29
Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

More Than Lip Service

Dt 4:1-2, 6-8/ Jas 1:18 / Mk 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

Consider your own discipleship in light of Jesus’ reference to Isaiah in today’s gospel: “This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.” We may believe we are doing a good job because we are being, well, good! We go to Mass and read our Bibles. We say our Rosary every day and always make a significant financial contribution to our church. All of these are wonderful things! But if they are only done out of ritual and obligation, they are not serving to help us grow in holiness. If our hearts are full of bitterness, grudges, and pride, then we are really no better than the Pharisees who uphold the religious laws, but do not have hearts for God. We must make an intentional effort to connect our obedience to a loving heart, and not simply a habitual mind!