The Tradition of the Elders

August 29, 2021


Sunday Scripture Readings

DT 4:1-2, 6-8 PS 15:2-3, 3-4, 4-5 JAS 1:17-18, 21B-22, 27

Explore the Sunday Gospel


MK 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem

gathered around Jesus,

they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals

with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands.

—For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews,

do not eat without carefully washing their hands,

keeping the tradition of the elders.

And on coming from the marketplace

they do not eat without purifying themselves.

And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed,

the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds. —

So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him,

"Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders

but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?"

He responded,

"Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written:

This people honors me with their lips,

but their hearts are far from me;

in vain do they worship me,

teaching as doctrines human precepts.

You disregard God's commandment but cling to human tradition."

He summoned the crowd again and said to them,

"Hear me, all of you, and understand.

Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person;

but the things that come out from within are what defile.

"From within people, from their hearts,

come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder,

adultery, greed, malice, deceit,

licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.

All these evils come from within and they defile."


meet our extended family

Blessed Maria Mercedes Prat (Feast Day July 24)

March 6, 1880 - July 24, 1936

Born in Barcelona, Spain, Blessed Maria Mercedes Prat showed a great love for her neighbor and tried to inspire that type of love in others. She attended Mass daily and gave herself to God completely as a child. Maria was a devoted student, painter, and excelled in sewing. After her parents’ deaths, she helped care for her younger siblings. As an orphan and the eldest daughter, she combined successfully her prayer life, her responsibilities in the home, her artistic talent, and her apostolate as a catechist and a member of the Teresian Arch-confraternity.

Once her siblings were old enough, she entered the Society of St. Teresa of Jesus in Tortosa and eventually went back to Barcelona for her assignment at the motherhouse. There, she taught joyfully in the community school for sixteen years until the sisters were forced to flee due to the unrest from the Spanish Civil War and the persecution of Catholics. She was arrested and shot for being a religious sister. The words of the Our Father were the last words on her lips. The sisters in the order described her as a “true Teresian—a religious according to the heart of God.”


Take time to chat

⦁ Why does Jesus call the Pharisees and scribes hypocrites?

⦁ Jesus teaches us that peoples’ words and actions can cause evil. In what way do words and actions hurt people today?

⦁ In what way do people use words and actions on social media for good or for bad?

⦁ Compare the life of Blessed Maria Mercedes Prat to the Pharisees and scribes in today’s Gospel story. In what way does her life exemplify how Jesus is calling us to live?


Recipe of the week

Skewered Sesame Beef

This meal can be enjoyed without touching the food with your hands!

¼ cup soy sauce

2 Tbsp. sesame oil

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp. sugar

2 tsp. garlic, minced

8 oz. beef tenderloin, cut into 1-inch cubes

12 mushrooms, halved

1 large red pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 Tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted

Stir first 5 ingredients together to make marinade. Add cubed beef to the marinade and set at room temperature for one hour or refrigerate up to 4 hours. Thread each wooden cocktail skewer with one piece of bell pepper, one beef cube, and one mushroom half. Dip one side of each skewer in the toasted sesame seeds. Arrange on lightly greased baking sheet and bake 5 minutes at 450 F or arrange directly over moderately hot coals for 2 to 3 minutes.


Family Fun

Pictures A to Z

Just as Bl. Maria went back to her hometown of Barcelona, rediscover your hometown with this activity.


Other Ideas

Grab a camera and head out to photograph something around town (or around your home or neighborhood) that starts with each letter of the alphabet: A for an apple orchard, B for a basketball hoop, and so on. To make it extra fun, form teams and use old-fashioned, disposable film cameras and get them developed at the end of the day. Compare pictures and have fun.  Go out for ice cream to celebrate your accomplishment!


Family Prayer

7 Words from Pope Francis

Repeat this phrase from Pope Francis 7 times together:

Jesus, make my heart more like yours.

Liturgy Link

Liga a la Liturgia

In today’s Gospel Jesus tells us how not to behave, but the Responsorial Psalm (between the first and second readings) guides us on how to behave. What is today’s response?

Unleashing the Gospel in your Family

Haz Llegar el Evangelioen tu Familia

In today's Gospel, Jesus lists things that come into a person's heart that "defile" them. These things enter our minds and hearts and leave little room for the things of God. This week get rid of the "garbage" in your life. Write on a piece of paper any mean or bad things that you hold in your heart. Get a garbage bag and invite each family member to put their garbage in the bag. Go to the sacrament of Reconciliation as a family to receive absolution and forgiveness for any offenses against God.

¡Datos Interesantes!

Fun Facts!

Text Link

Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894. The holiday was established to recognize the contributions and accomplishments of workers in America.