Daily Reflection = 2/12/2020
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? 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)
The religious leaders were concerned with avoiding ritual defilement. Jesus points his listeners to the source of true defilement — evil desires which come from inside a person’s innermost being. Sin does not happen. It first springs from the innermost recesses of our thoughts and intentions, from the secret desires which only the individual soul can conceive.
But God sees what is in our hearts. Even if no one else sees this we should never forget the fact that God sees all. That’s all that matters. That which is in our hearts can either do great damage to us or do great good.
Only God can change our hearts and make them clean and whole through the power of the Holy Spirit. Like a physician who probes the wound before treating it, God through his Word and Spirit first brings it to light that we may recognize it for what it is and call upon his mercy and grace for pardon and healing.
But to receive his mercy, we must admit our faults. Its far easier to blame another source or another person. Or it’s too easy to slip behind our Christian mask and pretend if we are not at fault.
Spend some time with Jesus. Let him put his finger on just one trait he would like to work on with you. Is it kindness or humility? Patience or generosity? Gentleness or straightforwardness? Each of these is a manifestation of love. Each is a blessing that can “come out” of us more if we ask the Lord for help.
Jesus is eager to pour his grace into you so that you can become more like himself in this special corner of your heart. Open yourself to His love so that what comes “out from within” gives glory to Him and helps build His kingdom on earth.
Prayer of The Day
Lord, fill me with your Holy Spirit and make my heart like yours. Strengthen my heart and my will that I may I choose to love what is good and to hate what is evil.
Reflect, today, upon that which is inside your heart. This introspection should also challenge you to look at your motivations. Why do you do what you do and why do you make the decisions you make? Are they choices that come from an honest and sincere heart? Or are they choices that are based more on how you will be perceived? Hopefully your motives are pure. And hopefully those pure motives come from a heart that is deeply united to the heart of Christ.