It Is Not The Things From Outside That Defile …

Good Day Brothers and Sisters !  Peace be with you !

In todays Gospel reading ( Mark 7:14 +)  Jesus is trying to teach the crowds a little about the law, and what it is that defiles us.    Jesus tells the crowds :

”  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. ”  ( NAB – USCCB  Mk 7:14-23)

Jesus in this process, abolishes the law that directed them not to eat certain foods.  At the same time he gives them something to think about.  The things that come from within are the things that defile us.    Ponder these things for a moment.   All the hate, violence, greed, lust, anger, envy, and all the other forces that drive the action of sin come from within.    They come from the heart and the mind.

When I was younger there was Flip Wilsons character Geraldine.. ” The Devil made me buy this dress! ” .   Its easy to blame others, and its easy to blame an object when it in fact is our own sinfulness that causes us to behave in a certain way, to act in a sinful way.     Self discipline ( discipleship ) is the path to good.

If you find that you fell off the wagon where your spirituality is concerned, or that you have not even found the wagon to begin with, then you should definitely not feel alone.   There are a number of the great saints who were champion sinners before they found their path.  It truly is not the destination.. it is the journey.

It is not what you bring into the house ( although if there are temptations they should go).. it is what you do, and what you think that are the origins of sin.  How you deal with the things you are confronted with.

The crowds here probably thought Jesus was just talking about ones body and the food that they eat.   But it only starts there.  It applies to our entire selves, then our homes, and our very lives.  It is the things that occur with our Minds and hearts.  The same could be said about a community it indeed can be the evil that comes from within if it is allowed to have a safe haven in the minds and hearts of the people who live there.

In his love of Lady Poverty, St Francis was able to share with the brothers the disciple of love through poverty and through that love break the bonds of the sins of greed, and envy, etc, by dealing with the underlying issues.   At the same time, the love of poverty also feeds Love of Christ through our fellow man.  through care for creation, through prayer.      The love of poverty causes us daily, to work on our detatchment from material things and orient ourselves to the spiritual.   In this way we can find the Christ with and share him with the Christ in our brothers.


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