It is 6th February 2018. We celebrate the memorial of Sts Paul Miki & Companions, Martyrs. The readings are from 1 Kings 8:22-23,27-30 and the Gospel from Mk.7:1-13. Colouring the religion with the hidden cultural secrets and traditional strings darken the beauty and the core of the religion and diminishing the freedom of religion to a limited expression. We cannot reduce God to our traditions and culture. God is above all and present in all that God has created. We cannot close the eyes of God by our human traditions and cultures. In the first reading, King Solomon intercedes God telling that God’s infinite love needs to be there among us even though the Heavens cannot hold Him. This is prayer appeals to God to watch over and keep God’s eyes ever open on the temple and all those who enter in. God surely watches over us not to reprimand only but to guide and protect us. As long as our eyes are fixed on the eyes of God, we will never waver. “That your eyes may be open night and day toward this house, the place of which you said, ‘My name shall be there,’ that you may heed the prayer that your servant prays toward this place.” (1 Kg.8:29,30). The responsorial Psalm praises, “How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, God of hosts.” (Ps.83:2). In the Gospel, Jesus sternly warns the Pharisees and the scribes that they must not suffocate the charity towards a fellow human being upholding the ceremonial or ritual practices. For Jesus, love of God and care for the suffering humanity stands tall in front of anything in the world. Our personal perceptions and interpretations of our Christian living must not leave out the care for human conditions. ‘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.’ (Mk.7:6,7). We do many things in our churches and in our small Christian Communities that make people to feel left out by God and Religion. May the Lord help us all not to do things that appear that God’s eyes are shut. May you have a good day. May God bless you.