Genesis 1:20-31

20 And God said, “Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the firmament of the heavens.” 21 So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day. 24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the cattle according to their kinds, and everything that creeps upon the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our

likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, Ihave given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day. 

Genesis 2:1-4

1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 

2 And on the seventh day God finished his work which he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done. 3 So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all his work which he had done in creation. 4 These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created. In the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, 

Mark 7:1-13

1 Now when the Pharisees gathered together to him, with some of the scribes, who had come from Jerusalem, 2 they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands defiled, that is, unwashed. 3 (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they wash their hands, observing the tradition of the elders; 4 and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they purify themselves; and there are many other traditions which they observe, the washing of cups and pots and vessels of bronze. ) 5 And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with hands defiled?” 

6 And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 7 in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’ 8 You leave the commandment of God, and hold fast the tradition of men.” 9 And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God, in order to keep your tradition! 10 For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him surely die’; 11 but you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, What you would have gained from me is Corban’ (that is, given to God) — 12 then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, 13 thus making void the word of God through your tradition which you hand on. And many such things you do.”


THE FIRST READING continues the creation account whereby living creatures that permeate the waters and birds of the air came forth from the waters; creeping creatures and beasts of every kind “came forth from the earth” and God saw that it was all good. A change of tone is observable in verse 26 when the Trinity confabulated and concluded that they shall make a creature in their own image with the noted distinction that they shall be male and female to procreate,multiply and subdue the earth! 

It is reasonable to deduce that the distinctive male and female description is only given to man, because we are creatures of a different kind who have been endowed with an intellect to reason; create; invent; ponder; love and know the difference between right and wrong, good and evil. We also have metaphysical attributes that destinies us for “better things which drives our gift of wonder!

“And if men were amazed at their power and working, let them perceive from them how much more powerful is he who formed them. For from the greatness and beauty of created things comes a corresponding perception of their Creator.” Wis 13:4-5

These intrinsic attributes are only given to man and not to animals whose existence are ordered by instinct to perform behaviors of a specific kind. In cases where animals are taught tricks and new behaviors by man, these acts cannot be transferable from one animal to their offspring!

THE GOSPEL READING. The Pharisees criticize our Lord because His apostles did not conform to the rules as enumerated in the Torah (Ex 30:17-21) that required the washing of hands before a meal. The temple leaders are condemned by Christ for raising the washing of hands to the highest order whilst they were  diverting offerings to themselves that are made at the temple to care for the elderly!

The Pontius Pilate syndrome has certainly taken hold of us by washing our hands-not able to correctly discern-to avoid family; neighbours, loved ones,the sick, elderly and homeless who we have abandoned! Some family members have gone so far as to not visit their parents at all for fear of infecting them, but alas we brush past the not so young in queues at public facilities and supermarkets with little worry! Stray and injured dogs are given priority whilst those who are made in God’s image and likeness are forsaken and neglected at a time when ‘Rome is burning!’ May we review our traditions of men and respond with love to a broken world.

LET US PRAY: Psalms 8:4-9

4 What is man that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man that thou dost care for him? 5 Yet thou hast made him little less than God, and dost crown him with glory and honor. 6 Thou hast given him dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet, 

7 all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, 8 the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the sea. 9 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is thy name in all the earth! 

Catholic Witness Apostolate       Henry R SYLVESTER              

Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days of saints around the world.

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