There is a story about a beggar who came every week to ask a very wealthy man for money.
And every week the rich man listened to his tale of woe and graciously gave him a generous gift. One day the rich man took the beggar aside and said to him: “Listen, you know I’m going to continue giving you some money every week. You don’t have to convince me anymore. A little less complaining and whining about your condition and we will both be a lot happier.”
The beggar pulled himself up and stood tall, feeling that his pride had been attacked. “My good man,” replied the beggar, “I don’t tell you how to be a millionaire, please don’t try to teach me how to be a beggar!”
You and I are a lot like that beggar. We’ve got a lot of needs – material, physical, emotional and spiritual. A lot of us have a tendency to complain. We certainly have a lot of pride. My 94-year old aunt used to say, “Don’t tell me what to do!”
In today’s Gospel (Mark 7:1-8,14-15,21-23) the Pharisees are certainly whining and complaining. They accuse Jesus’ disciples of eating with unclean hands. Of course, their hands were not unclean.
Jesus responds by quoting Isaiah the prophet who says that people seemingly honor God with their lips, but their hearts are far away. We need to bring our lips and our hearts together as Jesus tells us to do.
Do you sometimes echo the words of my 94-year old aunt, “Don’t tell me what to do!”
GOD LOVES YOU SO MUCH THAT YOU GET TO RUN YOUR LIFE THE WAY YOU CHOOSE!
Katie Sowa has told me she shares these Daily Treats with 76 Lectors in her parish every day. Please share them with as many people as you can.