Daily Reflection
February 8th, 2000
Eden Foord
Campus Ministry
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1 Kings 8:22-23, 27-30
Psalms 84:3-5, 10, 11
Mark 7:1-13

Todayís readings remind me of a time when I was attending college and had connected with a devout Catholic family.  I vividly recall an episode when the father was ranting about Catholics receiving communion in the hand.  He was going to report these acts to the Bishop expecting some severe consequences.  I did not say much at the time, but was troubled by this personís unrelenting grasp on church practices.  There have been many like situations since, where people have been stuck on the practice of religion rather than on God.  Perhaps this is how the scribes and Pharisees missed the mark by making human tradition more important than the meaning behind the tradition.  Jesus is certainly clear in stating that they ďdisregard Godís commandments and cling to human tradition.Ē  

Jesusí scolding makes me wonder how I do the same in my life.  Truthfully, there are times when I go through the motions at Mass, where Iím not attending to the presence and praising of God.  There are also times where I cling to familiar religious practices or get sidetracked by church issues, making them more important than the simple command of loving one another.  I would guess that Iím not alone.  At times, we all miss the mark on following Godís commandments.  When sidetracked, we just need to refocus our attention on Godís dwelling places to reconnect with God.  Christís life points to Godís dwelling places, and his example of attending to the poor, the hungry, or those in need, can help us to release our grasps on human tradition and embrace God.  

My friend in the opening story has since passed away.  I imagine God welcoming him saying, ďMy question for you is not did you receive me in your hand or on your tongue, but rather did you receive me in those I placed in your life who were in need?Ē 

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