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Daily Prayer - 2013-02-12


God is with me, but more, God is within me.
Let me dwell for a moment on God's life-giving presence
in my body, in my mind, in my heart,
as I am here, right now.


A thick and shapeless tree-trunk
would never believe that it could become a statue,
admired as a miracle of sculpture,
and would never submit itself to the chisel of the sculptor,
who sees by his genius what he can make of it. (Saint Ignatius)
I ask for the grace to let myself be shaped by my loving Creator.



Lord, grant that I may always desire
to spend time in your presence.
May I not forget your goodness to me.
Guide me to share your blessings with others.

The Word of God

Mark 7:1-13

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. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, ‘Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?’ He said to them, ‘Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,
“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.”
 You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.’

Then he said to them, ‘You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition! For Moses said, “Honour your father and your mother”; and, “Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.” But you say that if anyone tells father or mother, “Whatever support you might have had from me is Corban” (that is, an offering to God)— then you no longer permit doing anything for a father or mother, thus making void the word of God through your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many things like this.’

Some thoughts on today's scripture

  • A whole regime of external observances had grown up among the people – authorised by self-appointed religious experts; and persons could be judged religious or irreligious depending on how they ticked those ‘boxes’. These externals then began to be accorded the whole weight reserved for God’s own precepts for good living – for "the weightier matters of the law" (Matthew 23:23). The focus had shifted away from heartfelt acceptance of God’s demands – to religious ‘formalism’ as expressed in a vast range of customs and rituals.
  • Jesus was well aware of how some people could use lip service to an array of regulations as a means of avoiding any real commitment to God’s very own teaching and way which might go right to a person’s heart.


May your Holy Spirit guide me
In all my dealings with others.
May I use the gift of speech with kindness.


I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.


If you appreciated the daily prayer or have any suggestions or insights we will be glad to hear from you.

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