EATING WITH UNCLEAN HANDS – FEBRUARY 8TH – MONDAY (Mk 7: 1-13)
1.It is crucial to note that only some of the disciples were behaving in this fashion. If some were eating in a manner that could be judged as defiled, some were not. There is a division among the disciples.
2.Returning from the dirt, hustle and bustle of a first –century marketplace, one required purification, but there is no indication that a tradition of the elders was involved. Leviticus does not strictly speak on these laws.
3.We need to understand this term ‘tradition of the elders’. The Jews had 10 commandment and certain rules and regulations from Pentateuch, the first 5 books of the Bible. In 5th and 4th century BC there came a group of people called Scribes who started exemplifying and multiplying the laws. These laws were not written but were vogue through oral tradition. These rules were come to be known as tradition of elders.
4.What is Corban? The word meant a gift. It was used to describe something which was specially dedicated to God. If someone wishes to dedicate some of his money or his property to God, he declared it Corban, and therefore it might never again be used for any ordinary or secular purpose. Many sons and daughters made use of this Corban to free them from the duty of taking care of their parents.
5.Jesus was attacking a system which totally failed to respect human dignity and human relationships. People in power managed to manipulate even the Ten Commandments and made it to serve their selfish motives.
One thing that struck me about today’s gospel is the knowledge Jesus possessed. He kept himself abreast with the Scripture and traditions. He knows the history of the evolution of Jewish faith. We cannot confront people if we do not have certain degree of intellectual ascendency. Jesus always won arguments and put his opponents in tight corners. As Christians we need to know what is happening around the world. We need to be well read and well informed about the key issues that affect our faith life as well as our life as citizens.