FEB. 10. ORDINARY TIME. (B) WK. 5. WED. MK. 7. 14-23
Jesus called the people to him and said, ‘Listen to me, all of you, and understand. 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. If anyone has ears to hear, let him listen to this.’
When he had gone back into the house, away from the crowd, his disciples questioned him about the parable. He said to them, ‘Do you not understand either? Can you not see that whatever goes into a man from outside cannot make him unclean, because it does not go into his heart but through his stomach and passes out into the sewer?’ (Thus he pronounced all foods clean.) And he went on, ‘It is what comes out of a man that makes him unclean. For it is from within, from men’s hearts, that evil intentions emerge: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, malice, deceit, indecency, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within and make a man unclean.’
Today Christ states a very significant truth that we often overlook, namely, there is nothing in the world that is evil or “unclean”. This is a truth we often overlook because of the extent of evil (or sin) in the world.
This truth can also be stated in another way, and that is that “every thing” in the world is “good”; - because it has been created by God! Christ makes this clear in today’s reading when he states: “It is what comes out of a man that makes him unclean!”
Evil (or sin!) originates in man’s heart! It cannot come from God who only does what is “right” and “good”, and a good way to illustrate this truth is to walk outside and look around you! It is when we do this that we realise everything that we can see is ‘of God” and “good!”
Certainly we can see hardship, such as after an earthquake or cyclone, but there is nothing “evil” in such events. In fact they reveal the power of God, and Nature, as they are certainly not of man’s making. It is when we experience these type of events that we can also “see” God!
There are also many situations where we experience, or see suffering, such as in cases of poverty, or suffering caused by poor health, but we often forget that Christ gave “value” to the sufferings of life; - and we should certainly not see these situations as “evil” either!
Suffering can even be good for us, as it allows us to bear witness to our Faith, and it also makes us realise we are not the ones in control, and that we have a Creator who makes use of suffering as a way of purifying our hearts, and making reparation for sin!
Christ spells out examples of evil in today’s reading, and it all comes from, and originates, in man’s heart: “fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, malice, deceit, indecency, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within and make a man unclean.’
It is when we realise, and understand, that evil is “of man” that we also realise and “see” that God is “good”! And it is when this happens we can begin to turn to God and his “goodness” and seek his Divine assistance to help us overcome, and defeat, the “evil” in the world”
This evil, we need assistance with, can be either within us, or in the world around us; - as there is certainly no shortage; - so we need to believe, and be aware God is “good” and we can turn to him; - in Prayer; - and seek his Divine Assistance in overcoming the “Evil” in the world!