“Having joyful and optimistic countenances, radiating the Love and Mercy of Christ!”
(Based on Gen 1:20-2:4a and Mk 7:1-13 – Tuesday of the 5th Week in Ordinary Time, Year 1)
An elderly lady was known to always have a very pleasant countenance.
Anyone, who came in contact with her, would experience a sense of positivity.
They had never heard her criticizing or finding faults with people.
She was once asked by some of her neighbouring children on the secret of her joy.
She replied: “I have always believed in avoiding to talk negative about people.
We need to be always good with the good.
But let us never be bad with the bad…
… we can shape a diamond with diamond
But we can’t wash mud, with mud…!”
The Gospel of the Day presents the overtly dark and negative attitude of the Pharisees trying to lock horns…
… but failing miserably before the optimistic and authoritative presence of the Lord
The Gospel reading describes a group of Pharisees who criticize the disciples of Jesus for not following the “external traditions” and rituals.
Jesus, however, as an expert physician, gets to the root of their Pharisaic judgmental attitude: A heart that was far from the ways of the Lord!
Our Blessed Lord quotes Isaiah and says: “This people honours me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines!” (Mk 7:6)
The deviation from the ways of the Lord…
… made the Pharisees to tread through the murky waters of criticism and condemnation
The movement away from the Spirit of the Law…
… made the Pharisees to find themselves withered in the arid deserts of disapproval and denunciation!
And so the Lord out rightly tells them: “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition!” (Mk 7:9)
Turning away from the Lord and turning towards their own self-righteous interests rendered them to be pessimistic and cynical in their approach.
And this is quite true in our lives as well
The more we turn away from the ways of the Lord…
… the greater we indulge ourselves in mud-slinging and hurling insults at people
We need to examine our lives:
Am I a person…
… who tends to only find faults in others and fail to see the goodness that is present in every person?
… who is highly critical and ‘nit-picking’ when it comes to speaking about the acts and deeds of others?
… who takes pleasure in speaking ill about people, especially when gathered together with friends or family or community members?
Many of us may have a tendency to find the faults and failures of others.
Let us today onwards, make a conscious and consistent effort to avoid negative talk about people.
May we realise that “we need to be always good with the good.
But let us never be bad with the bad…
Because, we can shape a diamond with diamond
But we can’t wash mud with mud…!”
Concentrating more on the “positives”, the “brighter” and the “affirmative” areas of people and situations…
… let us always have joyful and optimistic countenances, radiating the Love and Mercy of Christ!
As the Psalmist reminds us: “Look to the Lord and be radiant…” (Ps 34:5)
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:
THE MAGISTERIUM OF THE CHURCH
The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God – whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition – has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone.
Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ.
This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.
Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God…
… but is its servant.
It teaches only what has been handed on to it.
At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit…
… it listens to this devotedly
… guards it with dedication
… and expounds it faithfully.
All that it proposes for belief as being divinely revealed is drawn from this single deposit of faith.