Scripture Notes – Sunday 29th August 2021

 But you must do what the word tells you, and not just listen to it and deceive yourselves

Welcome

The last time we heard from Mark was on Sunday 18 July: Mark 6:30-34. After our 5 Sundays of John 6, we now resume our reading of the Gospel for the current year. The appointed reading is Mark 7:1-8,14-15, 21-23. Something of the cumulative power of the text and its cogency are lost when the omitted verses are not read. The YouTube video tries to show that Mark 7:1-23 is really a structured unit of argument. In spite of its length, it might be worth considering offering the full text. It is never forbidden to expand a passage of Scripture!

As regards the content, the “declaring all foods clean” is really a reflection of later controversies – in Paul (Romans, Galatians and Philippians), Luke-Acts (Acts 10:1-11:18; 15) and here in Mark 7. Jesus did break certain laws, such as the Sabbath rules or the purity laws. However, he met too few Gentiles for the food laws to be an issue during his ministry. This new situation forced early communities to discern for themselves, in the absence of any teaching from Jesus. There is considerable potential there for us today!

Readings

St Augustine: The Confessions

Lord, your are great! And worthy of our praise! Your strength and your wisdom are beyond measure!

We long to praise you, though we are burdened with our mortality. Though we are conscious of sin, we long to praise you. You stir in us the desire to praise you. For you have so made us that we long for you, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.

St Augustine. Confessions. A fresh translation by Benignus O’Rourke OSA.

The Wexford Cycle 2021

For many years, I’ve undertaken an annual charity cycle for Peter McVerry SJ. The Peter McVerry Trust continues to help many, many young people in trouble, providing support, therapy and housing. The cause is very good and you, the subscribers, have been very generous in the past. To donate online, click here or on the image below.