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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

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St. Scholastica

Genesis 1:20—2:4
Psalm 8
Mark 7:1-13

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good or bad traditions?

"That is the way you nullify God's word in favor of the traditions you have handed on." —Mark 7:13

The people of Jesus' time used mere human traditions to nullify God's word. We do the same today. For example, God's word calls us all to be one as Jesus and the Father are One (Jn 17:21). Yet we've remained divided in our denominations for hundreds of years. It's our tradition.

In the Bible, the Lord commands us: "Your thoughts should be wholly directed to all that is true, all that deserves respect, all that is honest, pure, admirable, decent, virtuous, or worthy of praise" (Phil 4:8). Yet we have a tradition of watching TV, which directs our thoughts to evil, lust, greed, violence, and selfishness. Jesus strongly forbids the slightest expression of impurity.

If we fall into the temptation to look lustfully at another, Jesus proposes that we gouge out our eyes (Mt 5:28-29). Yet we have a tradition of dressing suggestively and joking about sexual matters (see Eph 5:3-4).

In the Bible, the Lord repeatedly commands us to be "sober and watchful" (1 Pt 5:8; 1 Thes 5:6). However, we have a tradition of drinking alcohol. Some churches even have the tradition of selling alcohol, even when they are almost certain of furthering someone's alcoholism.

We must repent of nullifying God's word by observing our traditions, and we must obey the traditions which the Holy Spirit has given us (see 2 Thes 2:15).

Prayer:  Father, bring down the strongholds of the evil one (2 Cor 10:4).

Promise:  "God looked at everything He had made, and He found it very good." —Gn 1:31

Praise:  St. Scholastica worked for God's kingdom from within the walls of her convent.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Spiritual Anorexia on audio AV 101-1 or video V-101.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 11, 2008

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