August 30

Reflection

This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines human precepts.
Isaiah 29:13

Isaiah puts these words on the lips of God. It makes God sound somewhat sad and disappointed. Yet, isn’t it an indictment of so many of us personally and in the public arena? It is easy to “honor” God with our words. We begin political events with an invocation, we hold church services, we say grace before meals and so forth. But, how does this carry over in action? Jesus used strong words for those who “honored “ God with their lips but not their actions. He told them what to do to truly honor God. “Love one another as I have loved you.”

Prayer

May I act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly.

Action

Reflect on Isaiah 29:13. What does this mean “teaching as doctrines human precepts”? How does it apply to you? Where do you see it in the public political and church arenas? What can you do?

Suggested Reading

So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him,
“Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders
but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?”
He responded,
“Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written:
This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines human precepts.
You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.”
Matthew 7:14

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
John 3:18

Those who listen to us and observe us must be able to see in our actions what they hear from our lips, and so give glory to God!
Pope Francis

All know the way; few actually walk it.
Bodhidharma

Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well.
Mahatma Gandhi

Better do a good deed near at home than go far away to burn incense.
Amelia Earhart

The last temptation is the greatest treason: to do the right deed for the wrong reason.
T. S. Eliot

Go put your creed into your deed.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them.
Alfred Adler

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