AHC B NAB Ordinary 22 - Hebrew Catholics

Association of

Hebrew Catholics

New Zealand Branch


Mark 7: 1 to 8; 14 to 15; and 21 to 23

Ordinary 22 Year B


1    1 Now when the Pharisees with some scribes who had
      come from Jerusalem gathered around him,

2    they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals
      with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands.

3    (For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews, do not eat
      without carefully washing their hands, 2 keeping the
      tradition of the elders.

4    And on coming from the marketplace they do not eat
      without purifying themselves. And there are many other
      things that they have traditionally observed, the
      purification of cups and jugs and kettles (and beds).)

5    So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him, “Why do
      your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders 3 but
      instead eat a meal with unclean hands?”

6    He responded, “Well did Isaiah prophesy about you
      hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors me with
      their lips, but their hearts are far from me;

7    In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human

8    You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human


14  He summoned the crowd again and said to them, “Hear me,
      all of you, and understand.

15  Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person;
      but the things that come out from within are what defile.”


21  From within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts,
      unchastity, theft, murder,

22  adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy,
      blasphemy, arrogance, folly.

23  All these evils come from within and they defile.”

1 [1-23] See the note on ⇒ Matthew 15:1-20. Against the Pharisees’ narrow, legalistic, and external practices of piety in matters of purification (⇒ Mark 7:2-5), external worship (⇒ Mark 7:6-7), and observance of commandments, Jesus sets in opposition the true moral intent of the divine law (⇒ Mark 7:8-13). But he goes beyond contrasting the law and Pharisaic interpretation of it. The parable of ⇒ Mark 7:14-15 in effect sets aside the law itself in respect to clean and unclean food. He thereby opens the way for unity between Jew and Gentile in the kingdom of God, intimated by Jesus’ departure for pagan territory beyond Galilee. For similar contrast see ⇒ Mark 2:1-⇒ 3:6; ⇒ 3:20-35; ⇒ 6:1-6.

2 [3] Carefully washing their hands: refers to ritual purification.

3 [5] Tradition of the elders: the body of detailed, unwritten, human laws regarded by the scribes and Pharisees to have the same binding force as that of the Mosaic law; cf ⇒ Gal 1:14.


Scripture texts in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised
edition (c) 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine,
Washington D.C. and are used by permission of the copyright owner.
All Rights Reserved. No part of the New American Bible may be reproduced
in any form without permission in writing from the copyright owner.


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