Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament

Province of Saint Ann

St Ann Crown red

Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament

Province of Saint Ann

St Ann Crown red
Eymard stained glass window

Daily Eucharistic Reflections

February 7, 2024

In today’s Gospel, Jesus offers a new orientation to kashrut, the Jewish dietary laws. These laws prohibit Jews from eating pork and crustaceans but allow them to eat the meat of other animals that have been ritually slaughtered under the supervision of a rabbi. Meat and dairy could not be eaten in the same meal. Failure to follow these and many other dietary laws would result in ritual impurity.

These laws, among many others, helped the Jewish people maintain their identity in a very religiously diverse world. They assisted them in building and securing a sense of community, a people set apart and dedicated to their God.

Jesus does not abolish these laws but looks at them in a broader context of human relationships. What one eats is not as important as what a person does in the face of God. Strictly observing kashrut and simultaneously doing what eviscerates the personal relationships that were core to the Covenant relationship is hypocritical. Jesus mentions several such actions as theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, and arrogance. Such actions disrupt the unity of the community and are an offense to God.

Throughout the Pontificate of Pope Francis, he has focused on a Church that was more pastoral than doctrinal. Without changing doctrine, he has advocated for ways in which the doctrines and laws of the Church could more pastorally invite people into a relationship with a loving and merciful God. The law remains in effect, but how he pastorally applied it often made a difference in the lives of real people in their contexts.

Following the example of Jesus and Pope Francis, let us also not be rigidly focused on the doctrines of the Church to miss opportunities to welcome people of the peripheries into a loving relationship with Christ.

Let Us Pray:

Jesus, while you walked the earth announcing God’s kingdom, you manifested a loving, merciful, and inviting God. You made it clear that the minutiae of the Law were not as important as loving and caring for each other, especially those most vulnerable. Give us an abundance of your grace today to continue spreading your message of love, care, and mercy, and welcome in our little time and space. Amen.

 

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