Reflection on the Lectionary: Mark 12:38-44
Animals: Tradition - Philosophy - Religion Article from


Stephen Kaufman, M.D., Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

Reflection on the Lectionary: Mark 12:38-44
(November 8, 2009)

This passage includes Jesus’ condemnation of 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, who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
In ancient Jewish culture, people admired those who acted pious and were courteous in the market places. Similarly today people tend to esteem those who have amassed great wealth, particularly if they claim humility before God and ostentatiously give something to charity. If there is some kind of divine judgment, I am convinced it will be based on our true character and actions, not our public displays or public acclaim. Those who claim to love God but cause unnecessary harm to God’s Creation (including God’s creatures) are like those about whom Jesus said, “Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).

Go on to: Essay: Existential Questions, part 1
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