Our first reading today is Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23
The book of Proverbs is an example of the Biblical wisdom tradition and raises questions of values, moral behaviour, meaning of human life and right conduct.
Unlike the decalogue which gives rules to follow, Proverbs are based more on observations that are meant to point people to the right way while warning against behaviour that can destroy one's humanity.
The reader is reminded that the Lord is the maker of us all and is on the side of the poor and afflicted so beware the consequences of your actions.
One is meant to ponder the proverbs.
Our second reading is from the Gospel of Mark Chapter 7:24-37.
In these verses, Jesus goes beyond the Galilee where his ministry started. He travels to the region of Tyre and then north for 20 miles to Sidon both on the coast of the Mediterranean. From there he travels south east towards the region of the Decapolis on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee.
As he travels he comes in contact with many who are not of his faith; people who are considered “unclean” by Torah laws. He is challenged by a Syrophoenician mother and heals a deaf mute both of whom are considered “unclean”. The question arises, “Who can be a part of the community”?
Listen to what the scripture is telling us.