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Gospel Reading for February 7, 2024 – Mark 7: 14-23

SUPERFICIAL

Jesus summoned the crowd again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand. Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.”

When he got home away from the crowd his disciples questioned him about the parable. He said to them, “Are even you likewise without understanding? Do you not realize that everything that goes into a person from outside cannot defile, since it enters not the heart but the stomach and passes out into the latrine?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) “But what comes out of the man, that is what defiles him. From within the man, from his heart, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within and they defile.”

————

Jesus spoke this way because there were many purification practices of the Jews which they made part of the Mosaic Law, such as the gospel yesterday of having to carefully wash hands before eating, not eating right after coming from the marketplace without purifying one’s self first, purification of cups, jugs, kettles and beds, etc.. When we come to think of it, what has our relationship with God got to do with these external practices?

What we always have to bear in mind is that relationship with God is with our inner self, as Jesus said, it is with the heart. Relationship with God can never be SUPERFICIAL. Otherwise, there is really no relationship to speak of. This is why not only good things but bad things too, come from the heart. If there is a real need for purification, it is our hearts that need to be purified.

Let us ponder on this hymn written by Keith Green, CREATE IN ME A CLEAN HEART, O GOD –
Create in me a clean heart, O God
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from thy presence;
Take not thy Holy Spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation
and renew a right spirit within me.

Veritas Editorial

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

President of Radio Veritas

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