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Sermon Topics

In God We Trust

You...hold fast to the traditions of men
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

Sermon Topic Trust

Sermon Week Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle B

Scripture Summary Mark 7:8

Keywords

According to the legend of the "Emperor's Clothes," three unscrupulous men seek to exploit the Emperor by offering to create a magnificent robe for him for a very high price. The Emperor goes along with the proposition and the three men pretend to be sewing up the great garment. Then they announce that the garment is finished and proceed to go through the motions of putting the phantom robe on the Emperor. "Surely you can see what fine clothing this is," one of them says. "Only a total simpleton could not see it so!" The mesmerized Emperor is convinced that this is indeed the finest robe in the Empire. Soon, all of the people in the kingdom are convinced that the Emperor is wearing the most beautiful robe ever made and that only a simpleton would not agree. Finally, the Emperor goes out among his people in a grand procession. Although he is completely naked, the people cheer, and they marvel at the beauty of the non-existent garment. There is one exception, however -- a young boy who, in his innocence, is unaffected by the people's departure from reality. Seeing things as they really are, the lad shouts out for all to hear, "Look! The Emperor has no clothes on!" Whereupon, all the people feel like complete simpletons -- including the Emperor.

In the twelfth chapter of Mark's Gospel, Jesus, while teaching in the temple, says:

Beware of the scribes, who like to go about in long robes, and to have salutations in the market places and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts (Mk. 12:38-39).

Jesus was referring to those persons whose devotion to outward appearances had caused them to depart from reality. They constantly were parading their outward piety before the people but, in terms of a right relationship with God, their hearts were no longer in it.

In today's Gospel Lesson, some of these people complain to Jesus that His disciples are not strictly adhering to the Jewish dietary laws. "Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of [...]

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