22nd Sunday of Year B


the Gospel is not necessarily about washing hands, or not, before eatingand we may find ourselves being swayed by currents. It’s time to renew our choice,”writes Father Chama. “neither is Jesus playing down the importance of cleanliness -certainly not! “
Fr. Michael Chua



One of the most common methods used to summarily end discussions involving morality, would be to resort to the ad hominem label of calling your opponent a “Pharisee.” It’s a catch-all term that would include, though certainly not be restricted, to the following connotations – “hypocritical,” “self-righteous,” “judgmental,” “moralistic,” “small –minded,” “legalistic,” “anachronistic,” “caught up in pomp and pageantry and the externals!” The term has indeed been used to mock, ridicule and silence. Unfortunately, the term has often been used these days to attack Catholics who attempt to defend Tradition and the official teachings of the Church. By doing so, these persons, and by extension the Catholic Church, are ‘judged’ to have absolutely no basis to ‘judge’ or correct anyone whatsoever, since they are modern day versions of that most hated group.

But let’s now move away from myth to reality. Who were these Pharisees? And more importantly, why did Jesus condemn the Pharisees so often during his public ministry….

Fr. Austin Fleming



I can’t help but think that if James were writing to us today

that instead of saying,

 “Be doers of the word and not hearers only.” that he would have written instead,  “Be doers of the word and not posters only.”

If you’re on FaceBook or Pinterest or Twitter, or read a blog or two, you know how often people post scripture verses and religious and spiritual quotes. But just as it’s not sufficient simply to hear the word, to listen to it, neither is it enough to post it online.

What we’re called to is doing the Word of God. And “doing the word” is almost always much more difficult than hearing it or reading it – or posting it online.

Fr. Evans K Chama, M.Afr



The readings for this Sunday remind us of what sincere practice of religion is, especially what it means to be Christian. They also warn us against the danger of just contenting ourselves with parading external religious piety at the expense of neglecting sincerity and purity of heart. That’s leads to double life, that is, hypocrisy. Let’s open our hearts to this word so that we can live our Christian faith genuinely. Here’s the washing that pleases God.

The Pharisees and the scribes remark that the disciples of Jesus don’t wash their hands, as others do, before eating. Scandal! But Jesus, strange enough, instead of responding positively to this, apparently, hygienic concern he only scolds the Pharisees and the scribes -even to the point of calling them hypocrites. Is Jesus indifferent to cleanliness?

Fr. Chama’s homily is divided into the following sections:

Is Hygiene Hypocrisy?
“Washing Hands” in its Context
Hypocrisy and Injustice
Deuteronomy as Reminder
How Am I Washing Hands?

Msgr. Joseph A. Pellegrino



“Buckle up your seat belts.  It’s the Law.”  That sign that we have all seen throughout our country expresses the common American mentality regarding laws.  That mentality is: “You must do this or that or not do this or that because the authorities say so.  If you violate the law you will be punished.”  To some degree or other, we all share in this mentality.  So often the determination of our actions are based on whether or not we will be punished, not on what is right or wrong.  For example, how fast we drive may be determined by the speed we know will not result in our getting a traffic ticket. Many times, though, we take a higher look at the law and determine or actions accordingly.  The law might be to drive at 25 mph in your neighborhood, but because you know that there are children playing who could run into the street at any time, you drive at 10-15 mph, bound not by the law but by your concern for the children of the area.

Related Homilies

What Comes Out of Us? (2018)
Living a Simple Life (2015)




Saint James challenges every one of us here in this Church today in the same way he challenged the readers of his letter over 1900 years ago. After we have just listened to the word of God in Sacred Scripture, the apostle tells us: “Humbly welcome the word that has taken root in you, with its power to save you.” And then he gives us the criterion to help us to determine if we really have welcomed it: “Act on this word. If all you do is listen to it, you are deceiving yourselves.”

There obviously must have been several people in his day who used to like to come to listen to the word of God without putting it into practice. But why did St. James say that they were lying to themselves? I think the reason is because if they were thinking that it was enough in one’s relationship with God merely to show up on the Christian Sabbath and listen to the Scriptures, they were deceived, because God didn’t give us Sacred Scripture to win any literary awards, or because he wanted to entertain us, but because he wanted to change our lives. And if we come to hear the word of God without desiring to have it change our lives, to put it into action, to give full rein to its power to save us, then God tells us that we, like Christians in St. James’ day, are doubly-deceived. We’re deceived both about the purpose and the power of the word of God as well as about our dramatic need for it.

Fr. George Smiga



Søren Kierkegaard, the famous Danish philosopher, was fond of saying that, “Reading the bible is like looking into a mirror.” The bible does not so much speak about the characters that are in its stories as it speaks about us. So every time we approach a biblical passage we need to keep telling ourselves, “This passage is speaking about me.”

This is very important for us to remember as we listen to today’s gospel, because in today’s gospel Jesus is arguing with the Pharisees. But if we remember Kierkegaard’s admonition, Jesus is not so much criticizing the Pharisees as he is criticizing us. The best way to understand today’s gospel is to approach it with the conviction: We are the Pharisees.

Now two things happen when we take this step. First of all, we grow in sympathy for the Pharisees. If their problem is our problem, we approach them with an attitude that is less quick to judge. This leads to a second fact. When we look at the situation of the Pharisees, we realize that they are not bad people. They are just trying to do what is right. Like Jesus, they honor the law. Like Jesus, they would reject all of those evil actions that Jesus lists at the end of the gospel: unchastity, murder, theft, adultery, greed, malice, deceit. All of these evils the Pharisees, like Jesus, would oppose.




There are many things that are wrong in our church and we’ve talked about it. I am sick of talking about it, to tell you the truth. But what happens is our hearts need to change and we can tell what’s in our hearts like you can tell what’s in my heart is what happens when it gets squeezed. Right? If you squeeze an orange, what comes out? Orange juice, right? And you can tell it’s an orange, because you drink it and it’s orange juice. But what happens when we get squeezed? And we’ve all been squeezed in the past month. Does…when we squeeze, what comes out? Is it anger? Is it pain? Is it judgement? What happens when we get squeezed? Or is it love? Because we are created in the image and likeness of God. And God is love. So when we get squeezed, does love come out? Or does evil come out, huh?

Fr. John Kavanaugh, SJ



The fornicators among us are surely going to be disturbed by Jesus’ words. So also the greedy-guts. The same might be said for liars, adulterers, thieves, killers, sensualists, the envious, the arrogant, and the obtuse.

Perhaps the best tack is to scrap the whole Gospel and talk about love or expansion funds. It is not uncommon, after all, for us to expunge those parts of the Gospel that offend us. But usually we have to listen to the stuff and squirm.

It is a funny thing to sit in the pew on Sundays when a whole list of sins and sinners is enumerated from the Gospels or the various Epistles. Our shoulders shrink a bit in hope that we are not mentioned, or at least that the blows fall not too hard. Possibly we feel relieved that smoking and drinking are not mentioned. Some of us may sigh. It is those “others” that Jesus is talking about.

Fr. Eugene Lobo, S.J.



The chief issues of our age are religious. They are about ultimate goal of life and to find true meaning of life and our final destiny. For many people who are engaged in such a search religion remains a self-search. Sometimes it leads to God and at others makes the person self-righteous. Every religion calls to a growth which is human and personal. It is strengthened in the loyalty of the person to the ultimate and is manifested in the service of our neighbors. Religion ultimately must find meaning to our life. The theme of today’s readings is the nature of true religion. Generally in a human society the laws are a necessary component. They are necessary for an ordered living and manifesting the best of relationships in society. In the first reading we have Moses exhorts his people to obey God’s statutes and ordinances. Their obedience will gain those many blessings from the Lord their God. In the second reading James reminds the early converts that God is the source of all good. He challenges the community to be the doers and not merely hearers of the word of God. They are to use the gifts God has given them for the benefit of others. Mark in today’s Gospel shows what happens when the letter of the law is slavishly followed. The scribes and Pharisees criticize the disciples for their failure to observe the laws about washing of their hands. Jesus confronts the Scribes and Pharisees over what constitutes authentic piety and true obedience to the commandments of God. Jesus reminds us that important things are not the norms and rules but what is inside a person’s heart.

22nd Sunday of Year B



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Rev. Andrew Fisher (Pastor, St. Ambrose – Annandale, Virginia) preaching homily for 22nd Sunday in Ordinary time on September 2, 2018 in the Crypt Church at the Basilica of the National Shrine in Washington DC.

Sunday Homilies

AUGUST 29, 2021 | SEPTEMBER 2, 2018 | AUGUST 30, 2015 | SEPTEMBER 2, 2012 | AUGUST 30, 2009

22nd Sunday of Year B

Cardinal Tagle
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Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
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With the Cholera and Ebola Virus which raked so many in the African Continent we hear of the importance of disinfectants. Hand sanitizers have gained a lot of economic publicity nowadays. One may PRAISE the Pharisees and Scribes who observed the disciples of Jesus eating without purifying themselves. Every society and its peoples are defined by certain traditions. Traditions, taken broadly constitute the assemblage of all that constitute their worldview and values-religion, laws and customs. All societies demand the strict respect of their respective traditions. It is against this backdrop that we understand the question presented to Jesus today on why his apostles do not follow the Jewish ritual laws: they eat without washing their hands. Jesus uses the occasion to teach that authentic faith should not be replaced by external rituals. Jesus insists on the fact that the law of charity rules and directs all other commands. The law of love is to will the good of the other. This includes willing our own good by not doing evil. The law of love wants to reform our heart or interior dispositions and gives us the grace or power to do so. On our part, it requires our cooperation and effort. This calls for some soul searching. What is the state of my interior dispositions, from which arise all sin.

This Gospel reading says to us that we must not identify our religion or being religious with just performing external acts like: going to church on Sundays and attend Mass, saying prayers, reading the Bible or giving to charity because these do not guarantee us holiness. What is the most important is the love in our hearts that motivates us to what do what we do. We go to Mass and we pray to God because we love Him so much. We give charity to those in need because we love them. If our hearts is filled with bitterness and pride, then all these external acts won’t make us holy before God and enter His Kingdom.

Jesus further touches SIN which flows from the interior of our hearts. He mentions them and insist that they affect our society. Some priests are considered village idiots for preaching about sin. It is no longer fashionable to refer to such unenlightened concepts. But, as Pope John Paul II says, “It is not we who have written the Gospel.” Pope Pius XII said, “The sin of the century is the loss of the sense of sin.” Pope John Paul II preached, “Secularism preaches there is no God and therefore no sin. Psychology advises us to resist our feelings of guilt. Sociology instructs us to lay all blame on society and think of ourselves as victims…  Theological cliques jump on the bandwagon and define sin away.”

Clearly the Teacher looked upon sin not only as a social evil but also a personal decision. Christ, someone has put it succinctly, gives the sinner but two options – either to be forgiven or be punished. Jesus challenges each of us to look right into our hearts. God knows very well what is hidden in our hearts. We may do a lot of external purifications but the heart is far from God. We must make a trip to the confessional!

Fr. Jude Thaddeus Langeh, cmf
Please pray for me

Jeff Cavins
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John Michael Talbot
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22nd Sunday of Year B

Bishop Robert Barron

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Photo above will be replaced by video when sermon is available. Check below for a list of Bishop’s most recent sermons.

Sunday Podcasts


by Bishop Robert Barron . September 2, 2018 .

All of today’s readings pertain to law. We Americans are a fairly litigious society. Lawyers are thick on the ground and many of our Founding Fathers were students of law. We have a kind of love-hate relationship with the law, like most people in history. Today’s readings offer a key lesson: whenever we reverence something, we surround it with laws. Laws protect the integrity of good things. And for the saints, the law of God is planted within their hearts.


by Bishop Robert Barron . September 2, 2012 .

One of the great tensions in the spiritual life is between loving the law and being free of the law. I argue in this homily that learning to swing a golf club is a very good analogy in this regard. Listen and find out why.


by Bishop Robert Barron . August 31, 2003 .

Recent Podcasts

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22nd Sunday of Year B

Father Frank Pavone
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The Culture of Life will come about when we practice the “true religion” of which James speaks in the second reading. “Looking after orphans and widows in their distress” is what the pro-life movement does. The unborn child is the most orphaned of all when he or she is scheduled for an abortion. “Though father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me” – and the Lord receives them precisely through his people practicing “true religion.” The mothers of these children may not be widowed in the sense that their husbands died, but they experience very often the absence of the father of the child, who may in fact be the one pressuring them to abort.

The Gospel passage makes it clear that the building of the Culture of Life comes “from within,” just as do the death-producing ways of thinking that lead to the Culture of Death. The culture must be shaped by external factors, including law, and these factors can powerfully shape the heart. Yet from within the depth of the heart will spring our readiness to give life, welcome life, and defend life.


General Intercessions

Celebrant: Confident in God’s eternal love and concern for our daily needs, we offer our prayers and petitions to him.


That the Church may encourage all the labor by which the laity shape society in accordance with the Gospel, we pray to the Lord.

For all teachers and school administrators, that the wisdom of the Holy Spirit may guide their important work, we pray to the Lord…

For widows and orphans, for the marginalized and the oppressed, and for the unborn children in danger of being aborted, we pray to the Lord…

That those burdened with illness may know the love that Jesus has for them through the love and care extended by their families and friends, we pray to the Lord…

That those who have died may rest with the Lord for all eternity in the heavenly kingdom, we pray to the Lord…

Celebrant: Father, we ask you to hear and answer these prayers which we spoken and those which remain within our heats. We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

SOURCE: Priests for Life

Life Issues Homilies website publishes articles directly related to issues raised in Evangelium Vitae, and related homilies by Fr. Al Cariño, O.M.I., Fr. Tony Pueyo, and others.

Focussing on the essentials

Al Carino

Closer to home, we find ourselves doing what will impress others and thus make them think well of us rather than do what God wants and thus make Him be pleased with us.


Antonio P. Pueyo

Jesus uses one word to describe those who lack congruence in what they say and do. He calls them hypocrites. A hypocrite is a fraud, an impostor, a pretender. He says one thing and does another.

The Word of God

Frank Enderle

When some people get ready to go to Mass on Sunday, they are very worried about the pretty clothes they wear and presenting a worthy exterior appearance. But I ask you: What about your soul? Do you try to maintain it clean? Purity of soul is what Jesus asks of His followers.

The Sin of Pharisaism

Douglas P. McManaman

The basic error of the Pharisees is that they misunderstood the meaning of holiness. The word “sacred” means “to be set apart”. One who is holy is set apart, not in terms of social status, or clerical status, but in terms of love, or charity. The one who is holy has extraordinary charity, an exceptional or extraordinary love of God and love of neighbour.

Doers of the Word

Antonio P. Pueyo

This familiarization with the ways of God by studying and praying over the Word of God in the company of a like-minded community of friends may bridge the gap between understanding and action. From hearers of the Word, we become doers of the Word. website publishes articles directly related to issues raised in Evangelium Vitae, and related homilies by Fr. Al Cariño, O.M.I., Fr. Tony Pueyo, and others.

EWTN Pro-Life Weekly

22nd Sunday of Year B

Laudato Si’ – POPE FRANCIS
Disinterested concern for others, and the rejection of every form of self-centeredness and selfabsorption, are essential if we truly wish to care for our brothers and sisters and for the natural environment. These attitudes also attune us to the moral imperative of assessing the impact of our every action and personal decision on the world around us. (208)

Click to access 22nd_OT_8-29-21.pdf

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