22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel – Mark 7:1-8,14-15, 21-23
A Recipe For Success?
Dinner Time, Mediterranean Sea
One Sunday morning at a small Southern church, the new pastor called on one of his deacons to lead in the opening prayer. The deacon stood up, bowed his head and said, “Lord I hate buttermilk.”
The pastor opened one eye and wondered where this was going. The deacon continued, “Lord I hate lard.” Now the pastor was totally perplexed. The deacon continued, “Lord, I ain’t too crazy about plain flour. But after you mix ‘em all together and bake ‘em in a hot oven, I love what come out – I love biscuits.”
In the end, it doesn’t matter what ingredients go in; what matters is what you do with those ingredients. What matters is what you do with what you are given. That’s the message of today’s Gospel when Jesus continues to call out the Pharisees for focusing on the wrong things. They complain about the disciples eating with unwashed hands, thereby making the food unclean. Jesus makes it clear – it’s not what goes into your body that makes you unclean; it’s what comes out of you!
We get hit with all sorts of unpleasantness and trials every single day. The boss yells at us unfairly. That homeless man comes up to us asking for money. Our neighbor struggles with his grocery bags. Our daughter asks for help with her homework. That driver cuts us off from that prime parking space. What matters is how we respond! How do we act? What do we do with those God-given gifts and talents?
With all that is happening in the world, we are all swamped with an odd mix of ingredients. What do we do with them? How will we respond? What will come out of the oven today?