Daily Devotional for November 13

November 13                                               Matthew 15:1-20


               "...not what goes into the mouth defiles
            a person, but what comes out of the mouth,
                             this defiles a person."


Today's Gospel presents a moment of great significance for our
spiritual life. The Pharisees ask Jesus why his disciples do not
observe a particular tradition of Jewish religion. Jesus responds
by saying that their tradition is itself a violation of the Scrip-
tures. He makes this point indirectly, through an example, but
his conclusion could not be clearer: "So for the sake of your
tradition, you have made void the Word of God." Jesus thereby
teaches us that human traditions, however good they may be,
do not supersede God's Word.


But Jesus does not stop there. He goes on to contradict,
explicitly, the food laws of the Hebrew Scriptures (vs. 11)! The
implications of this radical position frighten the disciples, who
urge Jesus to soften his message lest he offend the establish-
ment. Jesus only gets more emphatic, and finally makes his main
point: Authentic religion is a matter neither of human tradi-
tions nor of religious laws, even the laws of Scripture! In other
words, Jesus proclaims boldly that, just as the Scriptures
supersede tradition, so Scripture is superseded* by Christ. This
leaves us with one supreme Guide: Christ enthroned in our
hearts, who gives us direction for each circumstance as it
emerges. From now on, therefore, authentic religion must pro-
ceed from the heart, that interior center where Christ indwells
and communicates with us. *[Scripture is NOT superseded, but

FULFILLED, by Christ: But it is easier for heaven and earth to

pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail.

(Luke 16:17 NASB) L.M. 11/13/2017]


Today's Gospel is therefore the moment when Jesus ushers in
the fulfillment of the vision of Jeremiah: "I will put my law
within them, and I will write it upon their hearts....',
(Jeremiah 31:33) Therefore, let us today return to Christ who
dwells in our hearts and ask our Guide to show us the path
of faithfulness.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.1989  23

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