Today is the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time and we are in Cycle B for Sunday readings. Today's first reading is from Deuteronomy 4:1-2,6-8. Here it is.
Moses said to the people:
“Now, Israel, hear the statutes and decrees
which I am teaching you to observe,
that you may live, and may enter in and take possession of the land
which the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you.
In your observance of the commandments of the LORD, your God,
which I enjoin upon you,
you shall not add to what I command you nor subtract from it.
Observe them carefully,
for thus will you give evidence
of your wisdom and intelligence to the nations,
who will hear of all these statutes and say,
‘This great nation is truly a wise and intelligent people.’
For what great nation is there
that has gods so close to it as the LORD, our God, is to us
whenever we call upon him?
Or what great nation has statutes and decrees
that are as just as this whole law
which I am setting before you today?”
Today's Gospel is from Mark 7:1-8,14-15,21-23. I repost that.
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?”
“Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written:
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.”
I emphasized in bold some points that I'll make in a minute.
Two days ago we received news that Bishop Philip Egan of the Diocese of Portsmouth (England) has, to implement Laudato Si, has placed his diocese on "environmental alert". You might be asking yourselves "just what the h@?!# is environmental alert"?? The article goes on; he's suggesting that the people in the diocese "moderate their lifestyles" in accordance with the environmentalism stated i Laudato Si, and to make it a point of conscience examination in preparation for Confession!
Do you understand the implication of that last phrase? He is suggesting, with the force of his episcopal office, that Catholics take the scientifically baseless ramblings of environmentalism and place them on a par with the Ten Commandments, the Precepts of the Church and the Church's Dogmatic teachings on faith and morals.
In light of today's two readings, we can see that Bishop Egan is behaving in the manner of the pharisees during the time of Jesus' ministry on earth. The whole underlying modus operandi of environmentalism in the Church - and indeed much of the so-called "social justice" movements in the Church - is to emulate the pharisees in substituting their progressive creeds for the Teachings of Jesus Christ Himself. The environmentalists in the Church - including all who have had a hand in crafting Laudato Si - are carrying on like 21st-century pharisees, along with their "social justice" compatriots.
Do I include the Pope in this? Well recall the nonsense that will happen in two days, September 1st - this "World Day for Prayer for Care of God's Creation". In promulgating that, he said we're to ponder our "sins against the world", right? Meanwhile, good Catholics are circulating a petition to ask Pope Francis to clarify and defend the Church's teachings on marriage. While it's a laudable effort, there's also a note of sadness to it. Why? Well, since when should Catholics ever have to ask the sitting pope to do the job that was already assigned to him by God? But that is what the papacy has become these days. So to answer the question in this paragraph's first sentence, if the shoe fits wear it.
Five years ago, I wrote a post that was largely a parody; at least I thought it was at the time. I now realize it may be more prophesy than parody.
PS - If anyone really wants to care for God's creation, how about caring for the pinnacle of God's creation first? I'm talking of unborn children of course. Get yourselves in front of your local abortuaries. Pray for an end to abortion and contraception. Offer assistance to desperate women. Combat the culture of death and help implement a culture of life. That's more useful than agonizing over the settings for your air conditioner.
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