Arulvakku

17.02.10 RELIGIOUS PRACTICES

Posted under Reflections on February 16th, 2010 by
And whenever you fast,…Father who sees in secret will reward you
( Mt 6,16-17)
 

Every religion has its own dogmas, rules, liturgies, religious

 practices etc.  Judaism also had its own pious practices.

The three main pious practices of Judaism, at the time

 of Jesus, were prayer, fasting and alms-giving.

 

Interestingly these three are based on relationships.

Fasting stands for one’s relationship within himself/herself.

Alms-giving represents one’s relationship with the other.

Prayer speaks for one’s relationship with God.

 

Hence, these practices are mainly to build relationships.

They are not actions for any other profits or motives.

And these practices are also not for a show.

They are not for rewards or applause from the viewers.

They are solely to build relationship.  

 

At the end of the season of lent if one comes out with a

 better relationship with God, with the other, and with

oneself then we can say that, the individual has

practiced the religion well.

 

This is what prophet Micah 6, 8 says. Israelites believed

that this verse gives the summary of the Old Testament.

Even if the whole of the Old Testament were to be lost,

then this verse could be a source of re-writing the bible.

 

"O man, he has told you what is good, and what does the

Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness

and to walk humbly with your God?" 

 

This verse also speaks of the three relationships.

Probably Jesus had this verse at the back of

his mind when he spoke of the religious practices.

 

Every religious practice is to build the right relationship:

with God, with the other and with oneself.

16.02.10 LEAVEN OF THE PHARISEES

Posted under Reflections on February 15th, 2010 by

Do you not yet understand or comprehend? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear? And do you not remember, when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up?” They answered him, “Twelve.” “When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many full baskets of fragments did you pick up?” They answered (him), “Seven.” He said to them, “Do you still not understand?” (Mk 8,17-21)

What does Jesus intend to communicate by saying ‘the leaven of the Pharisees’ and the leaven of the Herod?

The disciples had forgotten to take bread with them. And they were talking among themselves about it. Why should they be worried about bread because they have witnessed the multiplication of bread for five thousand and four thousand. They know well that Jesus could multiply  bread even if they had forgotten. This section of the story follows the story of the Pharisees asking  for a sign from heaven. The Pharisees have seen many  miracles yet they  ask for a sign and Jesus refuses to show any sign.

Here the disciples who had witnessed to the multiplication of bread are worried about bread. So they are as doubtful as the Pharisees. Their belief and trust in Jesus is as weak as that of the Pharisees. So the leaven of the Pharisees is not trusting in Jesus, that is having doubt in Jesus.

Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees.

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