Tuesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
In the Gospel we see that the Pharisees attack Jesus indirectly by targeting His disciples saying, ‘Why do your disciples not follow the traditions of the elders but eat with unclean hands?’ Since these rules were not derived from Scripture Jesus rebukes them for giving too much weight to the tradition of the elders. The traditions lead the Pharisees to have hypocritical and vain worship. According to Jesus what is essential was true worship. True worship involves drawing near to God and loving God with all our heart, mind and soul and loving our neighbour. All the laws, rules and traditions hang on these two commandments. Traditions that are handed down are not bad in themselves but it all depends on how we perceive them. Though the traditions enable us to serve Christ we also need to remember that man-made traditions are changeable and cannot take the place of God’s commandments.