Our experience of the Gospel readings can be enhanced by a reflective examination of the history, meaning and context of the scriptures.
Hearers of The Word – Praying and Exploring the Readings for Advent and Christmas: Year C by Kieran J O’Mahony OSA is the seventh volume in the popular series and the first for Year C. It explores the context and background, along with commentaries, on the Sunday readings for the liturgical period from Advent to the 2nd Sunday of Year C. The prayers and prayer guidance that the author provides allow for a multi-dimensional understanding of the Gospel in terms of their historical and theological significance.
Hearers of the Word may be helpful to those involved in Lectio Divina, either individually or in a group. Combining spirituality and contemporary biblical scholarship, it is unique among Gospel commentaries on the market today.
Kieran J O’Mahony OSA is an Augustinian friar and biblical scholar. He is on the team of the Tarsus Scripture School initiative and is well-known for his very popular Weekly Notes – an email resource for each week’s readings throughout the year.
Hearers of The Word – Praying and Exploring the Readings for Advent and Christmas: Year C by Kieran J O’Mahony OSA is published in Ireland and the UK by Messenger Publications. Priced at €19.95/£18.95
Click HERE for further details.
Mark 7:1 Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, 2 they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. 3 (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; 4 and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) 5 So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” 6 He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,
‘This people honours me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
7 in vain do they worship me,
teaching human precepts as doctrines.’
8 You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.”
Mark 7:9 Then he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.’ 11 But you say that if anyone tells father or mother, ‘Whatever support you might have had from me is Corban’ (that is, an offering to God)— 12 then you no longer permit doing anything for a father or mother, 13 thus making void the word of God through your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many things like this.”
Mark 7:14 Then he called the crowd again and said to them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: 15 there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.”
Mark 7:17 When he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 He said to them, “Then do you also fail to understand? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile, 19 since it enters, not the heart but the stomach, and goes out into the sewer?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, “It is what comes out of a person that defiles. 21 For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, 22 adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
Read, explore & listen to more on this Sunday’s Gospel with Kieran J. O’Mahony via these links:
Link to YouTube discussion:
Link to Gospel Notes:
There are saints to be imitated and saints to be admired,” says an old and wise proverb. For many reasons the saint whose memory we celebrate today would probably fall into the second category, for she was endowed with extraordinary gifts of grace and practised radical forms of penance that are the cause of amazement to many. She was also a person, however, filled with great love who could not be content to live by half measures or compromise.
There are saints to be imitated and saints to be admired,” says an old and wise proverb. For many reasons the saint whose memory we celebrate today would probably fall into the second category, for she was endowed with extraordinary gifts of grace and practised radical forms of penance that are the cause of amazement to many. She was also a person, however, filled with great love who could not be content to live by half measures or compromise the Rule of Saint Augustine. Upon the death of Giovanna, Clare at 23 years of age was elected abbess and became mother, teacher and spiritual director of the convent. A young woman of deep spiritual perception, though with almost no formal education, she was much sought after for advice and counsel from people of all walks of life, and from within the walls of the cloister became a director of many souls. She was deeply devoted to the Passion of Christ and was known to experience periods of ecstasy as she contemplated the mystery of the Cross. For many years she received no consolation in her interior life except that of her own fidelity to prayer and acts of penance. During her final illness, she repeated to her sisters that she bore the cross of Christ in her heart. After her death, this was verified when the nuns examined her heart and found in it symbols of the passion of the Lord, formed from cardiac muscle. Clare died on August 17, 1308, at the age of 40 and was canonized by Leo XIII in 1881.
The life of Clare of the Cross is a striking reminder that holiness is the work of grace and not of human effort. Nonetheless, cooperation with the work of God is indispensable for spiritual growth, “for He who made us without our willing it, will not save us without our willing it.”