In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Today we remember the martyrs: St. Paul Miki and companions who gave their life to sharing the Gospel of Jesus in Japan around 1596.
Listen to this reading from Mark's gospel which shows Jesus' wisdom.
Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, 'Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?' He said to them, 'Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,
"This people honours me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching human precepts as doctrines."
You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.'
Then he said to them, 'You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition! …
The Gospel of the Lord. [Response: Thanks be to God]
Jesus speaks about how easy we find it to come up with excuses to avoid living according to God's love commandments. As we grow older we find ways to get what we want even if it against the rules and guidelines we are asked to live within – we try to find loop holes with our parents and teachers and we do it with God and each other to get what we want. Today let us work together to bring order into our school community and help each other be the best people we can be.
In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.