(How does today’s Gospel speak to me during this lockdown? Allow me to share a humble reflection.)
The Pharisees and the scribes asked Jesus, “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” (Mark 7:5)
The Pharisees were a group of fervent Jews who wanted to live their faith in a radical way. For them, this meant paying attention to the smallest details of the Law of Moses, which they interpreted very narrowly. However, it’s easy to get bogged down in such details while forgetting that which is essential. For Jesus, it’s not the hands that need to be purified, but the heart.
This lockdown has forced me to set aside certain religious practices that usually allowed me to express my faith and grow in it. Sometimes, I really get frustrated and anxious about this situation. However, I can be so centred on these practices I can’t enjoy, that I forget those that lie within my reach: meditation on the Word of God, prayer, spiritual reading, love shared with others and commitment for justice.
Abba, Father, I suffer from all that this lockdown has stolen from me. Yet, I ask you to open my eyes and my heart to what remains. Your love, the friendship of your Son, Jesus and the vitality of the Spirit within me is the essential reality on which I need to focus. So that when the day comes that I can return to my community practices, my heart will be even more open to you and to all my brothers and sisters.