Gospel Mk 7:1-8, 14-15,21-23
“Nothing that goes into a man from outside can make him unclean; it is the things that come out of a man that make him unclean.”
In Jesus’ day, the people of his faith followed strict religious rules which governed much of their every day lives. This is for the most part well known, and Jesus was known for a particular attitude towards such laws. While many of these laws pointed towards a time when they would be superseded by some new dispensation, some new testament from God, for Jesus these laws were supposed to presuppose outward manifestations of inward dispositions. When the Pharisees the scribes saw that many of Jesus’ disciples were somewhat lax with these rules they saw it as an indictment of their teacher, Jesus. His response however turns their world on its head. Pointing to the primacy of the heart, Jesus does not do away with the law as it is, but instead seeks to replace the moralism which had found a home in the teaching of these Pharisees. Jesus asserted a new law of love which was to govern the hearts and minds of all who were to follow him. How often we find ourselves today thinking of the faith as nothing more than mere ethical propositions or lofty ideals. Jesus is calling us to much more than this – he is calling us to a relationship of love - love which casts out evil and purifies our hearts so that we can climb the mountain of the Lord.
Wise Words of Wisdom
“Let your religion be less of a theory and more of a love affair.” – G.K. Chesterton