Appleton, WI

Aug 29 Homily Connect: Tradition

Scripture: Dt 4:1-2, 6-8 Jas 1:17-18, 21b-22, 27 Mk 7: 1-8, 14-15, 21-23

A Husband and Wife

  • Wife cut off both sides of the ham – Husband asked, “Why?”
  • Wife responded that was what her mom and grandma did.
  • Wife called grandpa to ask “Why?”
  • Grandpa responded: “So the ham would fit in the baking pan.”

Story is a Good Example

  • A tradition/practice that made sense a long time ago but no longer makes sense today.
  • Wife’s baking pan is most likely larger than grandma’s baking pan

unique to the catholic religion

  • Notion that God’s unconditional love is revealed through the gifts of Scripture/ Tradition
  • No other Christian religions treat Tradition in this manner
  • Others believe God’s revelation comes only through Scripture

what is the role of tradition in our church

  • That’s Tradition with a Capital T
  • Tradition has given us the understanding of the Trinity – God one in three Persons, Jesus who is fully human and fully divine, Holy Spirit flowing from the Father and Son
  • Tradition is given through the Councils of the Church – Nicea, Ephesus, Constantinople
  • Today theologians are still offering their reflections based on the Councils

tradition as a library

  • Something new exists among something old
  • Tradition continues to develop so as to have meaning in our own time
  • It is given a new language that is relevant for our time
  • Considers knowledge gained from biology, psychology, sociology, anthropology
  • Cannot put our Catholic Tradition into a safety deposit box locked in a particular time
  • We live in the 21 st century – not the Middle Ages
  • Our Church addresses God in a language we share – no longer in Latin

don’t mix up the t’s – can never be made equal

  • Tradition = Capital T = church teachings – does not change but develops tradition = Small t = practice/discipline (ex. male, celibate priests) may change
  • Are you confused, yet?

the gospel – jesus’ down to earth message

  • The washing of hands, cups, mugs, beds not more important than loving God and others
  • God is a God pf freedom and healing – not obsessed with rules and purity
  • Our Catholic Faith through ages has become too concerned with moral rules
  • Following rules is not the same as following Jesus
  • Jesus said about Ten Commandments “You have heard it said…but what I say to you is”
  • Rules and laws customs and traditions (small t) always take second place to Jesus’ command to love the Father with one’s whole heart, mind, soul and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself – especially your enemies
  • Saint James- “Religion is this…to care for orphans/widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”

what we need today in our christian communities

  • Less rule makers/pushers
  • More peacemakers, forgiveness ambassadors to carry Jesus to every person

As Jesus tried to convince religious leaders then, he hope we understand this today!

questions for reflection

  • What impacted you from the readings/homily?
  • Have you been confused over the years about church teachings and the discipline and practices of the Church? What might have changed in your life time in regard to the discipline or practices in our Church?
  • Do you find yourself using rules to judge others more than using the Gospel to love them? Where doe this come from?

Live Connected

During your encounters this week. be mindful of your thoughts and judgements you are
making. Make a conscious effort to consider the Gospel instead of rules and laws.