Gospel – Mark 7: 1-23
When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem
gathered around Jesus,
they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals
with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands.
—For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews,
do not eat without carefully washing their hands,
keeping the tradition of the elders.
And on coming from the marketplace
they do not eat without purifying themselves.
And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed,
the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds. —
So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him,
“Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders
but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?”
“Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written:
This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines human precepts.
You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.”
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.
“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.”
Reflection on the Gospel
Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.
Unclean – what an indictment!
They worship me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
The list of evils that proceed from within me are ominous.
How can I live with myself knowing my worship is in vain and that I am defiled by the evils that proceed from my heart?
How can I rid myself of this defilement?
The good news is I don’t have to.
All things are possible for God.
Saint John Baptist de La Salle – Pray for us.
Live, Jesus, in our hearts – Forever.