A Sign of Contradictions
Any society with too many rules, policies, standards, traditions etc is a society with big problems. It is obvious that the particular society has lost its bearing, its purpose and meaning. So, it clings to many laws as a way of distracting itself from its problems. Typical of this society is the sad divide of "us and them - the righteous us, the sinful them".
This sad divide is evident in Mark 7:1-23. It is obvious that Israel had lost her bearing at this time. They had too many laws. They even had "laws for laws". That was the pathetic situation Jesus Christ encountered and confronted. He knew the many laws were a distraction from the One Law: love the Lord your God and love your neighbour.
This One Law doesn't divide. This One Law unites. It builds bridges between the us and them and reveals to all our common origin and end - the Father. It is the One Law that helps us to name and solve our problems. It doesn't deny and place blame. It admits and takes responsibility for change. This Law is a Sign of Contradictions. It is Christ, the Truth.
Fr. Francis Afu