Year B: CB 22 Sunday in Ordinary Time

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

Guidelines prepared by volunteers from Lectio Centre project


The Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered round Jesus, and they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with unclean hands, without washing them. For the Pharisees, and the Jews in general, follow the tradition of the elders; and never eat without washing their arms as far as the elbow; and on returning from the market place they never eat without first sprinkling themselves. There are also many other observances which have been handed down to them concerning the washing of cups and pots and bronze dishes. So, these Pharisees and scribes asked him, why do your disciples not respect the tradition of the elders but eat their food with unclean hands? He answered, ‘It was of you hypocrites that Isaiah so rightly prophesied in this passage of scripture:
This people honours me only with lip-service, while their hearts are far from me. The worship they offer me is worthless, the doctrines they teach are only human regulations. You put aside the commandment of God to cling to human traditions.’ He called the people to him again and said. ‘Listen to me, all of you, and understand. Nothing that goes into a man from outside can make him unclean. For it is from within, from men’s hearts, that evil intentions emerge: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, malice, deceit, indecency, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within and make a man unclean.’

The Gospel of the Lord

Simple summary of lectio steps with gospel passage.
We read the gospel passage several times to become familiar with the past event described therein.  Where it took place?  When did it happen?  Who was involved?  What happened?


Having listened deeply to the passage and its context, we now move to meditation where we allow the passage to remind us of similar events, happenings or encounters from our own life-experience, in which we have come to see the same movement of grace or sin contained in the passage reproduced or living again today.

Having recognized the passage in life today, spontaneously we are moved to a prayer of thanksgiving, or repentance or petition or all three, expressed in our own words interlaced with words of the passage where possible.

The guidelines below might be of some help in recognizing the passage in our lives and in the world around us.

‘You put aside the commandments of God to cling to human traditions’

We all have had times in our lives when, through pride or lack of concern, we have looked down on others – perhaps not wanting to understand their situation; times when we have shunned people because of their traditions or because they don’t think as we do.

Let the passage remind us of all who speak out on behalf of the poor, the vulnerable and the marginalised.  Let us celebrate “the Jesus people” who see and defend the beauty and greatness that lies in each person.

Lord, helps us to make sure that we don’t make others feel out of place and unwelcome. Fill our hearts with love(the commandment of God) for all God’s People.

‘their hearts are far from me’

In this passage Jesus quotes from Isaiah to challenge us. Do we as individuals or as church get caught up with the concerns of this world – especially when we seek respectability and status, and neglect our true spiritual journey and the needs of our neighbour?

Take time to reflect on the words of the passage and let the words of Jesus dialogue with our life experience, and challenge us to grow as people who embody his mind and heart.