... are often good for you...
"Unclean" foods are often good for you.
Alan: A preliminary note on The Catholic Lectionary.
Four biblical passages are read at every Catholic mass, a ceremony that re-enacts The Last Supper, and in the process reminds believers that personal sacrifice is essential to service. As living members of Christ's body, believers consume Yeshua's flesh and blood to "become what they eat" and, thus fortified, go forth into the world -- which is to say into the ongoing Incarnation -- to do the work of Love.
The "First Reading" is taken from the Old Testament, a compilation of Jewish pre-Christian books (the shortest, "Jonah," is comprised of 1500 words) that are revered as The Word of God but whose component parts are often disregarded by the magisterium (i.e., the official teaching mechanism of the church) because the divine inspiration of many Old Testamental passages has been definitively ecliped by the new covenant incarnated by Jesus of Nazareth.
Seldom Sermonized Bible Quotes
The "Second Reading" is taken from the Psalms, whose (debated) authorship is traditionally ascribed to King David, a fellow with "warts" the size of watermelons.
King David: Common Criminal, Or, Uncommon Criminal?
Most epistles were (at least according to tradition) written by Paul of Tarsus, a tent maker by trade.
Paul is often called "The Apostle to The Gentiles."
Although Paul never met Jesus prior to his crucifixion, his conversion to Christianity (after years of "hunting down Christians" as God-damned infidels) most likely took place between 33 and 36 A.D., shortly after the crucifixion.
Many early Christian communities were located in present-day Turkey, Paul's home from birth through middle adulthood.
The "Fourth Reading" is excerpted from one of the four "canonical" Gospels written, according to tradition, by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
However, we know that these gospels contain many scribal redactions and were almost certainly subject to admixture by writers who saw themselves as "faithful to the tradition" of one or another putative evangelist.
Today, August 30, 2015, I will concentrate on the Gospel reading from Mark, the earliest and most curt/direct of the four traditional evangelists.
I will also touch upon the Second reading from the Epistle of James.