Readings for Wednesday February 9, 2011
First Reading: Genesis 2:4-9, 15-17
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 104
Gospel: Mark 7:14-23
Jesus 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 the man, that is what defiles him. From within the man, from his heart, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within and they defile.” (Mk 7:14-23)
Several years ago while attending a work conference, I heard a speaker say something that has stuck with me ever since. He told us that "garbage in, equals garbage out." Now this guy was not talking about if we eat garbage, then garbage will come out; what he was talking about was if we are surrounding ourselves with "garbage" or negative things/people, then that is what is going to come out of us.
Jesus makes it a point today to tell us that it is not the food that we take in that defiles us, but it is what comes out of us that defiles us. Jesus tells us that; "From within the man, from his heart, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within and they defile." Which begs to ask the question, what are we allowing in our hearts? Are we allowing God in our hearts, or the things of this world? Are we opening ourselves to the Lord or to the garbage that is out there? We must remember the things that we surround ourselves with and the things that we set our hearts upon are going to be the things that come out and shine through.
I pray that we all can look to God for the strength and nourishment that we need to persevere in this life, and that only His love and goodness may dwell in our hearts. May the light of Christ shine through us all.
Father above, we thank you for the gift of this day and for the gift of our lives. Lord, we pray for soft hearts that are open to you and your will. Help us to be the servants that you created us to be, and to have hearts that are set up on you. Lord, we pray for all life in this world and for the conversion of those who do not cherish life as they should. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.