Jesus then called the people to him again and said to them, «Listen to me, all of you, and try to understand. Nothing that enters one from outside can make that person unclean. It is what comes out from within that makes unclean. Let everyone who has ears listen».
When Jesus got home and was away from the crowd, his disciples asked him about this saying and he replied, «So even you are dull? Do you not see that whatever comes from outside cannot make a person unclean? Since it enters, not the heart but the stomach and is finally passed out». Thus Jesus declared that all foods are clean. And he went on, «What comes out of a person is what defiles, for evil designs come out of the heart: theft, murder, adultery, jealousy, greed, maliciousness, deceit, indecency, slander, pride and folly. All these evil things come from within and make a person unclean».
Jesus patiently explains everything to His disciples, particularly to those who search in all sincerity. In our spiritual accompaniment, if you have some Jesuits, they help us to understand the importance of discernment, and the importance of the process of decision making.
Jesus is indirectly asking his disciples to give some importance to this and work on it. He is telling us that anything which comes from outside, is beyond our control and we should learn to choose what is good in the world, for our growth, from the available resources that God has given to us. He affirms that God has put into our heart what is good and we have to choose everything in coherent to this divine goodness that God has placed in us.
Since God has given us this faculty of discernment, accompanied by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we have the liberty of using these natural faculty given to us, to be totally coherent with the divine will, filled with love and compassion. If we wish to be good in our thinking and doing, then we have this obligation of choosing everything in our personal freedom, in coherence with the divine will, because God in His goodness desires what is best for us.
The more we distance ourselves with the divine goodness, the more will be the danger of impurity in our being. Thus, in our discernment, instead of retaining what is good in this world, with our own impurity, anything comes out of us, will be totally contaminated by the same impurity. We have to be eternally careful and watchful, as St. Augustin say, that we may not be away from the divine love.
Action of the day: Be watchful.
«Nothing that enters one from out¬side can make that person unclean»
Fr. Norbert ESTARRIOL i Seseras
Today, Jesus teaches us that God made everything good. But our intentions —which are not always right— may contaminate what we do. This is why Jesus Christ says: «Nothing that enters one from outside can make that person unclean. It is what comes out from within that makes unclean» (Mk 7:15). The experience of the offence against God is very real. And we Christians can easily discover the evil's deep mark in a sin's enslaved world. The mission Jesus charges us with, is to clean —with the help of His grace— all this contamination men's bad intentions have spread all over the world.
The Lord wants all our activities to be carried out well: He expects us to show in them intensity, method, science, know-how, eagerness for perfection, not looking for anything else but reinstating God's plan for Creation. For God made everything for man's benefit: «Purity of intention. —You will always have it if, in everything you do, you only look forward to pleasing God» (Saint Josemaria).
Only our will can spoil the Divine Plan. And we must watch that this is not so. Quite often we let in vanity, pride, despondency for lack of faith, impatience when our aims are not attained... This is why saint Gregory the Great warned us: «Be not seduced by any flattering prosperity, for only the foolish traveler stops along the way to admire the beautiful landscape while forgetting where he is heading for».
It will, therefore, be convenient to pay attention to how we offer our deeds to God, to always be aware of His presence and to frequently consider the Divine Filiation. Thus, all our days—through work and prayer— will be fortified and begin in our Lord, and whatever we start in his name will reach its desired ending.
For 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.