Sunday Devotional: The radical departure from Judaism

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Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem
gathered around Jesus,
they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals
with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands.
—For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews,
do not eat without carefully washing their hands,
keeping the tradition of the elders.
And on coming from the marketplace
they do not eat without purifying themselves.
And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed,
the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds. —
So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him,
“Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders
but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?”
He responded,
“Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written:
This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines human precepts.

You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.”

He summoned the crowd again and said to them,
“Hear me, all of you, and understand.
Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person;
but the things that come out from within are what defile.

“From within people, from their hearts,
come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder,
adultery, greed, malice, deceit,
licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.
All these evils come from within and they defile.”

The word “covenant” means a binding agreement; a compact; a contract.

Jesus, again and again, said that He came to make a new covenant:

“This cup that is poured out for you
is the new covenant in my Blood,
which will be shed for you.” –Luke 22:20

St. Paul, who was a Pharisee — a member of the ancient Jewish sect that emphasized strict interpretation and observance of the Mosaic law — further emphasized in Hebrew 8:13 that:

In speaking of a new covenant,
He makes the first one obsolete.

The above passage from Mark 7 makes clear that, in making a new covenant, Jesus is a radical departure from Judaism, which had become mouldy and encrusted with the writings and sayings of men (rabbis) — torturous instructions on dietary laws (Kashrut), personal hygiene, and day-to-day life, much like the Koran. Collectively known as the Talmud, those writings and sayings of men came to (and still do) supersede the Torah (Christians’ Old Testament) in importance.

But with a few chosen words, Jesus sweeps aside the minutiae of the Talmud and gets to the gravamen of the matter: It is what is in our hearts that counts, not meticulous observations of dietary dos and don’ts.

To do otherwise — to cling to “human precepts” and outward shows of dos and don’ts, while our hearts are evil — is to be hypocrites. And for being called out the pretentious hypocrites that they were, the Pharisees would nurse their hatred and malice, until they had their revenge at last on Golgotha.

Jesus, I love you with my whole heart, my whole soul, my whole mind, and with all my strength.

May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,


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9 responses to “Sunday Devotional: The radical departure from Judaism

  1. And with Your Spirit.

  2. Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this beautiful post, setting forth the clear communication from Our Lord Jesus about what is actually important to the Holy Trinity.

  3. Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this most important post about the readings at Mass today. It is the key to humility.

  4. Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this beautiful post.

  5. Yes. Our Lord IS NOT discounting the importance of good table manners and good hygiene—far from it. What He is complaining about is the radical (as in the ROOT) misconception the Pharisees had concerning human nature.
    Although Talmudic Judaism did not begin to “coagulate” until about 600 years after Christ, the FUNDAMENTAL PHENOMENOLOGICAL LIE was being parroted by those Pharisees, Namely, that they were MORALLY SUPERIOR BEINGS to ordinary mortal men, BY VIRTUE OF THEIR BIRTH.
    Proper table manners, good hygiene and other matters of protocol DO matter, but Our Lord teaches us here that, First, HE is the New Covenant: HE Shall Pay the Ransom Our Father in Heaven Demanded, and in so doing, the Old Covenant would be fulfilled and then be Superceded. Therefore, from that Point forward, the true phenomenological fact would be forevermore, as solid as bedrock, Namely, that it is what comes from within a person that would either glorify or defile him.

    In other words, Our Lord called B.S. on the Pharisees’ (really Satan’s) LIE: That these Pharisees are morally superior due to their very birth. Yet in Talmudic Judaism, that lie continues down to this very day. Indeed, the late Rebbe Menachem Schneerson himself repeats it in saying that the “Jewish soul is superior to the Gentile soul.” Former Israel Prime Minister Menachim Begin said, “We Jews are the Master Race on this Planet!”

    Well, let these moral Jonestowners bleat all they want. As a (miserable excuse for) a Roman Catholic, I am OBLIGED to comment that Vatican II was absolutely wrong in stating that the Jews had a special dispensation from Christ’s New Covenant, or that it does not apply to them, or that their Old Covenant still applies. NO, NO AND NO AGAIN: To insist otherwise—and Paul VI opened the door to this MONSTROUS LIE—is to Crucify Christ’s Mystical Body, Holy Mother Church.

    Yeah, Well, When Christ Rose from the Dead, all He Left was a REMNANT, The Holy Shroud of Turin. And that Remnant led a Remnant of Believers that went on to CONQUER THE WORLD. Once Holy Mother Church Rises from the “Dead,” so to speak, it, too, shall leave another Remnant, and it shall go on to conquer the World YET AGAIN.

    I have tried to talk to a number of people about the absolute criminal fraud of the Second Vatican Council and what a JOKE its “Popes” have been. I have had absolutely NO success—until this Joker Frankenpope came upon the scene, and even with him it is an uphill battle! But I get it: Harriet Tubman once said, “I could have convinced 1,000 other slaves that they were slaves, but they would not believe that they were slaves!”

  6. The Pharasees even taught that if one spit on the Sabbath, and it rolled and made a furrow, they had tilled the soil, and had broken the Sabbath, and thus owed payment for the forgiveness of their transgression. Jesus came to do away with such things, paying the debt of our transgressions once and for all time.
    He taught that the Sabbath was made for man and not that man was made for the Sabbath. Meaning that we needed a day to set aside for both worship and to step aside from our toil, to spend on God and family. I have friends that place great importance on making the day of worship Saturday, as if somehow that makes a difference. I find that too legalistic for my own beliefs, but to each their own, I guess. So long as you set aside a day to center on God and family, I am okay with that.

  7. hmmmm…..thats all ya got?

    New Covenant here…..Remenant seed…..Last Blood……Bridegroom…….The Church you seek is within the Heart…..For Christ’s Heart is entertwined within my building can be truely Holy for Our Body is The Temple of God

  8. The pharisees were famous for straining a knat, and swallowing a camel. That concept is alive and well in many churches today. The KING came to fulfill the Law, and (set us free).


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