Daily Office Readings for Saturday of the Third Week of Lent: Year 2
“Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them.” (Mark 7:1 and 2)
In the Gospel we are always on notice that when the Pharisees approach our Lord Jesus, the encounter is normally confrontational. This meeting at the beginning of Chapter 7 of Mark is no different. However, as we live today in the throes of the Covid 19 virus, the message over and over again is to wash our hands and wash them often.
Our Lord Jesus will speak of the ill intent of the Pharisee’s attempt to discredit him. He will also let us all know that if we are not careful there is an unholy kind of dirt that may be in us, in our hearts, and it will do much damage if it comes out in our words and actions against our neighbors. He says, in effect, that it is not what goes into a person that defiles them but rather, what is crafted in them and then comes out of them in an evil and sinful way that defiles them.
I have a book of Russian Theologians, honorable priests, bishops and monks out of whom comes all goodness. All of the ones in my book were well before the present regime in Russia. What comes out of the present regime, and the clergy who support it, is what pollutes the great Russian religious history.
I am seeing the positive effect of our prayers and its affect on the Russian aggression; I just ask us to keep praying. Our prayers are working. The Holy One is listening and acting. I pray that Russia will wash its hands of the violence and then put them together in prayers for forgiveness.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John