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Lifelong Catechesis

Forming Catholic identity across generations
December 08, 2021
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Sunday Readings and Backgrounds

Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading I : Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-8

Hear the decrees which I am teaching you.

  • For the authors of Deuteronomy, Israel's tragic situation was the result of its infidelity and disobedience.
  • The solution to Israel's problem was conversion and obedience.
  • Israel's greatness lies not in its own strength but in God who remains faithful.

Reading II : James 1:17-18, 21b-22, 27

Welcome the word which has taken root in you.

  • The Letter of James encourages us to welcome the word that has been planted in us.
  • We are the first fruit of God's new creation and thus set apart for God.
  • The evidence of this new life is seen in how we deal with others.

Gospel : Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

This people pays me lip service.

  • The Pharisees in today's Gospel were especially concerned with food laws and purity laws because these were what distinguished Israel from the Gentile nations.
  • Jesus points out that some of the things many Pharisees cling to so tenaciously are human traditions and not the law of God.
  • The more serious matter is God's command to love one's neighbor.