First Reading | Genesis 2:4-9, 15-17
The First Reading today is the second Creation account. Why are there two? Did God make a mistake the first time? We have two accounts of creation like the story of the Exodus, which are two separate stories woven together as one. There were a number of traditions that explained these events, each of them focusing on different but equally essential truths. Those who collated the material in its final form kept both stories for this reason.
4 At the time when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, 5 while as yet there was no field shrub on earth and no grass of the field had sprouted, for the Lord God had sent no rain upon the earth and there was no man to till the soil, 6 but a stream was welling up out of the earth and was watering all the surface of the ground, 7 the Lord God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being. 8 Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and he placed there the man whom he had formed. 9 Out of the ground the Lord God made various trees grow that were delightful to look at and good for food, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 15The Lord God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it. 16 The Lord God gave man this order: “You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden 17 except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. From that tree you shall not eat; the moment you eat from it you are surely doomed to die.”
Responsorial Psalm | Psalm 104:1-2, 27-28, 29-30
R: O bless the Lord, my soul!
1 Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord, my God, you are great indeed! You are clothed with majesty and glory, 2 robed in light as with a cloak. (R) 27 All creatures look to you to give them food in due time. 28 When you give it to them, they gather it; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things. (R) 29 If you take away their breath, they perish and return to their dust. 30 When you send forth your spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth. (R)
Gospel | Mark 7:14-23
Do we worry about things that we cannot control or do we respond to a given situation by the power and grace of the Holy Spirit? Things happen that affect the way we act and respond to the daily events of life. However, it is our choices that show our character. Do we have the courage and strength to respond in a virtuous manner during times of adversity? Jesus reminds us to mind our actions—the product of our decisions.
Your word, O Lord, is truth: consecrate us in the truth.
14 Jesus summoned the crowd again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand. 15 Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.” 16 17 When he got home away from the crowd his disciples questioned him about the parable. 18 He said to them, “Are even you likewise without understanding? Do you not realize that everything that goes into a person from outside cannot defile, 19 since it enters not the heart but the stomach and passes out into the latrine?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 “But what comes out of the man, that is what defiles him. 21 From within the man, from his hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. 23 All these evils come from within and they defile.”