Question of the Week
Gospel Reading: Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
Washing your hands before you eat is good hygiene. Our mothers always expected us to come to the dinner table with clean hands. For the Pharisees and other religious leaders of Jesus’ day however, it was a religious rule—not inspired by simple cleanliness—and it seems to have been a way to purify themselves, as if anything that we do to our skin could cleanse our souls. (Lady Macbeth tries washing her hands to rid herself of guilt, and finds it woefully inadequate.) Jesus is infuriated that these men who are supposed to be teaching God’s ways to the people put so much stock in mere gestures and shrug off God’s real concern for justice, mercy, and trust in God.
Question: What rules do I use to scrutinize the behavior of others? How just are they?