22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

Published on 23 Aug 2021
A pair of hands with palms open

‘You must do what the word tells you’

God of might, giver of every good gift.

put into our hearts the love of your name,

so that, by deepening our sense of reverence,

you may nurture in us what is good,

and, by your watchful care,

keep safe what you have nurtured.

Our readings this week encourage us to pay attention to the ways in which the word of God truly influences how we live our lives. Although we all too often fail to live up to the example set for us, we are none the less assured of an abundance of gifts, because of God’s infinite love for each and everyone.

In the First Reading, Moses explains to the people that it is by obeying the laws given to them in the commandments that they will have life in the land, as promised to them by the Lord.

The importance of actively living our faith is further emphasised in the Second Reading. Here the author exhorts Jewish Christians not just to listen to the word, but to do what the word tells them, by caring for those in need, and living good and honest lives.

In the Gospel, Jesus describes the lip-service of the Pharisees, who, as foretold in the words of Isaiah, offer ‘worthless worship’. Their adherence to human traditions and values takes their hearts far from God.

This week, we may want to spend some time reflecting, with the Lord’s help, how closely our own lives reflect the ideals described in the Psalm, which speaks of the just dwelling in the presence of the Lord. We can then ask with confidence that the Lord will show us the path that will draw us ever closer to his presence.

God of might, giver of every good gift, put in my heart the love of your name.   Opening Prayer

Lord, who shall dwell on your holy mountain? Those who walk without faults, act with justice and speak the truth from their heart.    Psalm

You must do what the word tells you, not just listen to it and deceive yourself.     Second Reading

This week’s texts if you want to explore further:

Deuteronomy 4:1–2, 6–8; Psalm 14 (15); James 1:17–18, 21–22, 27; Mark 7:1–8,14–15, 21–23