Sunday Readings

Commentary on the readings for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

Andrea Mardegan comments on the readings for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time and Luis Herrera offers a short video homily. 

Andrea Mardegan-August 25, 2021-Reading time: 2 minutes

The episode of the Pharisees and scribes who come from Jerusalem to ask Jesus why his disciples eat with unclean hands, is preceded by this scenario: "When they got out of the boat, they immediately recognized him. And they went through all that region, and wherever they heard that he was, they brought the sick to him on stretchers. And wherever he went, into towns or cities or villages, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and begged him to let them touch at least the hem of his garment; and all who touched him were healed.". Shortly before he had fed five thousand men with five loaves and two fish. What a contrast with those who have problems with ablutions and the observance of external prescriptions. As if salvation depended on these things. Jesus applies to them the prophecy of Isaiah: "These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They uselessly worship me, while they teach doctrines that are the precepts of men.". It is a prophecy that can always be applied throughout the history of humanity and the Church to all the followers of formalisms, spiritualisms, legalisms. Their heart is far from God. 

Jesus is very interested in clarifying these truths, and in fact he calls back to himself the crowd that had left, because he did not care about these pharisaical disputes, which certainly did not attract the crowds. Instead, Jesus wants to speak clearly to the whole crowd so that his teaching reaches everyone throughout history and he says: "Listen to me all of you and understand me well!".

These two verbs together - listen and understand - in the imperative form are used only in this episode and in the parallel passage in Matthew. It means that it is a subject that urges him and he does not want to miss the opportunity to make it clear out loud. "There is nothing outside of man that, by entering into him, can make him impure.". Thus he makes all food pure, Mark explains further on, but it can also be said that he remembered that everything created by God is good and, in the case of the human being, it is very good. On the other hand, "from within the hearts of men proceed evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders...".

And how, then, can the heart of a man so capable of sinning be purified? Benedict XVI recalls, in the chapter You are pure of his work Jesus of Nazareth (II), that in other passages of the New Testament it is explained that we are purified by faith (Acts 15:5-11), by the word that Jesus has proclaimed to us (Jn 15:3), by his love (Jn 13), by the truth that is himself and in which we are immersed (Jn 17:17). Also by hope in Christ who purifies us, as he is pure (1 Jn 3:3).

The homily on the readings of Sunday 22nd Sunday

The priest Luis Herrera Campo offers its nanomiliaa small one-minute reflection for these readings.

In collaboration with
Do you want independent, truthful and relevant news?

Dear reader, Omnes reports with rigor and depth on religious news. We do a research work that allows the reader to acquire criteria on the events and stories that happen in the Catholic sphere and the Church. We have star signatures and correspondents in Rome who help us to make the background information stand out from the media noise, with ideological distance and independence.

We need you to face the new challenges of a changing media landscape and a reality that demands reflection, we need your support.

In collaboration with
More on Omnes
La Brújula Newsletter Leave us your email and receive every week the latest news curated with a catholic point of view.