Another common trap is to interpret Jesus’s response to the religious leaders of his time as license to do whatever we please. To be Christians in the true sense is to incorporate (literally, ) that what we believe and profess.
This is what Moses predicts others will see when they see the Law lived out among the people of Israel.Moses believes observers will say: ‘This great nation is truly a wise and intelligent people.’ For what great nation is there that has gods so close to it as the LORD, our God, is to us whenever we call upon him?Or what great nation has statutes and decrees that are as just as this whole law which I am setting before you today?As with so many readings from Sacred Scripture, there are certain pitfalls that we should avoid in our hearing the Word today and discerning the Spirit’s invitation to understand the its fuller meaning (plenior).One very dangerous trap is to slip into some kind of supercessionist interpretation of the First Reading (Deut 4:1-2, 6-8) in light of today’s Gospel (Mk 7:1-8, 14-15, 22-23).
It is easy to see how one might mistakenly believe that the people of Israel misunderstood God’s plans and intention in the form of the Law presented to them by Moses.
This version of the story suggests that for centuries people have been missed the mark and were inappropriately concerned about exterior and trivial matters (hand washing, etc.) in the way represented by the Pharisees’ concerns in the Gospel.
It wasn’t until Jesus appeared on the scene, the Incarnate Word and fully God, that the “record was set straight.” But this is not a correct reading of what is transpiring here.
Though our First Reading does highlight the origin of the Law, we do not believe that our Jewish sisters and brothers and their ancestors misunderstood God’s commandments.
It is not that everything that came before was wrongly interpreted and off base.
Nowhere does Jesus say that the Law was , but rather its interpreters and self-appointed enforcers are the ones who act badly and misunderstand.