Daily Reflection – 2/13/19
He 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 a person, that is what defiles. From within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within and they defile.”( Mark 7: 14-23)
In one stroke, Jesus changes this all-important Jewish idea of defilement and says that nothing that comes from the outside can make a person unclean. Rather it is what comes out of an individual that can render him unclean. And he names them in the Gospel.
These alone, Jesus says, can defile a person, because they come from within, they come from the heart. In another part of Scripture, he says, “out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Matt. 12:34) And so a Christian would do well to guard that what he or she does on the outside is consistent with who and what he is on the inside. Each of us needs to be sure that the mirror in our soul mirrors the outside of our words and actions.
Externals are for people to see. What lies within, however, what lies in the depths of the human heart and soul, that is for God alone to know and judge. And what we do in the secret of our hearts is much more valuable to Him than what others see us doing.
But just as goodness can come from the heart, evil can come from it as well. If it is what’s on the inside that purifies; it is likewise the interior, i.e. what is from within, that can defile. Such is the “terrible chemistry” of a sinful heart which, as the prophet Jeremiah says, can be “deceitful above all things,” and can distill poison that ruins life. “It is what comes out of a man”, as Jesus says, “that can render him unclean”.
We can make great things if we realize that each one of our human actions is a co-redeemer when joined to deeds and actions of Christ
Prayer of The Day
My God and Savior open my ears and my eyes so that your Kingdom will reign in my heart. Free me from loving anything more than you. Let my soul drive my actions so that I am consistent with all that you teach.
Think about this. Both praying for and imitating Christ’s Heart mean allowing the Heart of our Redeemer to gradually replace our own hearts; allowing that Heart to exchange our self-serving desires for his ever-burning, selfless love.