Reflection on Mark 7: 1-8; 14-15, 21-23
If I called this reflection, Inside Out or Topsy Turvy, would you think I was about to tell a tale from Alice in Wonderland?
Maybe it should be because you see the Pharisees in today’s Gospel certainly thought that Jesus was turning things Topsy Turvy. They sure didn’t like what he had to say or the way he was acting because it went against their idea of what paying homage to God was all about.
But Jesus did come to set things in a different light – in fact, he called us to us to follow a different light. And he quotes Isaiah well when he uses the word hypocrisy.
Because he tells us that paying lip service to God without matching it with a change in attitude and action is just that – hypocrisy.
And haven’t all of us been spiritual hypocrites in our lives at some point?
Haven’t we, on occasion, wrapped ourselves up in our knowledge of scripture, or in our attendance at Church, or in the position we hold in Church and failed to let our thoughts, actions and words match the outward veneer we wore? I have.
Haven’t all of us at times thought bigotry while we wrap ourselves in Christianity – looked down on others while we extolled our virtues – or perhaps even let a smile hide a feeling of disdain? I have.
But today’s Gospel is a loud shout – and the shout is HYPOCRITE.
Jesus reminds us that that impurity doesn’t come from the outside but from the inside – WHAT?? YOU MEAN WE SPEND ALL THIS TIME WORRYING ABOUT IMPURE BOOKS AND MOVIES AND TV SHOWS AND HE IS Saying impurity comes from inside?
But he’s right isn’t he ? – Because we are talking about a different form of purity – we are talking of a pure heart and a pure centeredness on God.
It’s a different form of purity – the kind of purity that comes from turning to god not away from god
We turn to God when we turn our inner core toward allowing God to work in our lives – by praying that the thoughts from our minds, the words from our mouths and the actions from our hands reveal Jesus Christ. That’s right, reveal Jesus Christ.
Remember the story I have told often about a child’s description of a stained glass window of a saint as god’s light shining through. That’s what we are called to do – to let god’s light shine through our lives.
But you know that is more than just being Christ-like in our actins. It calls for a total reformation of the way we think.
I assume that if you are like me, you have your will done and maybe even have your estate or trust neatly parceled out to those you love.
But what does it contain for God?
Have you thought about the fact that maybe your children or those you love could do with a little less. Have you thought about living a true spiritual legacy behind? Could a small portion of your estate be given to help someone who is less fortunate, or to a medical research that could make a difference or maybe to someone whom you don’t even know in a country faraway? Or a young struggling entrepreneur so they can realize his or her dreams? Or to a family who would never own a home without your help. You see, in my book, that’s purity coming from the inside.
It’s easy to give to those we love!
It’s easy to say but they are my blood, of course, they should receive it.
I know that.
But what about making a difference in the life of someone else?
What about doing something right now?
How about enjoying the gift of making a profound difference in someone’s life? How about reaching out through your local Church – or local civic organization – or Habitat for Humanity – or Medical research- or a Boy’s or Girls club in a disadvantaged neighborhood?
Why not do that? You could see the joy that a gift could make.
Do I believe that’s the only way? No. But why do I center on it, because it will say to your inner heart that I’m reformed. I stand tall to my command of being Christ like.
I have thought beyond me – beyond my family – and I have chosen to face the sun light of Christ’s love in my life. I have taken the road less travelled. I have taken the extra step.
I have chosen to be Topsy Turvy.