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

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark.

The Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus.  They had noticed that some of the disciples were eating with unclean hands, that is, without ritually washing them.  For the Pharisees, and the Jewish people in general, follow the tradition of their ancestors and never eat without washing their arms as far as the elbow.  Moreover, they never eat anything from the market without first sprinkling it.  There are many other traditions which have been handed down to them, such as the washing of cups and pots and dishes.  So these Pharisees and scribes asked Jesus, “Why do your disciples not respect the tradition of our ancestors but eat their food with unclean hands?”  Jesus answered, “How accurately Isaiah prophesied about you hypocrites when he wrote,

These people honor Me with their lips,

while their hearts are far from Me.

The worship they offer Me is worthless,

the doctrines they teach are only human regulations.

You disregard God’s commandments and cling to human traditions.”

Jesus summoned the crowd and said to them, “Listen to me, all of you, and try to understand.  Nothing that enters us from the outside makes us impure; it is what comes out of us that makes us impure.  If you have ears to hear, hear this.”

He went on, “It is what comes out of us that makes us unclean. For it is from within, from our hearts, that evil intentions emerge: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, malice, deceit, indecency, envy, slander, pride, folly.  All these evils come from within and render us impure.”

The Good News as spoken through Mark.