THE ROOT OF DEFILEMENT

HOMILY OF WEDNESDAY OF THE 5TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR B

MEMORIAL OF ST SCHOLASTICA

[St Scholastica was the sister to St Benedict, whose feast is celebrated on 11 July,. She consecrated herself to God and lived the monastic life with great zeal and faith, thus becoming a beacon of holiness, peace and strength to the Christians of central Italy. She died in the year 547, at the age of 67.] Daily Missal.

 Genesis 2:4b-9.15-17, Mark 7:14-23

THEME: THE ROOT OF DEFILEMENT

It is hard to see people exhibiting manners that do not originate from their heart. The Lord said, “What comes out of a man is what defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and they defile a man.” Mark 7: 20-23

This was still part of Jesus response to those who accused his disciples of not washing their hands before eating. Here, the Lord Jesus was preaching against outward of piety. He expects us to check all that originate from our heart. He equally said to his disciples, “Are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a man from outside cannot defile him, since it enters, not his heart but his stomach, and so passes on?  Mark 7:18-19. We cannot not out-rightly say that Jesus is declaring all food clean. This is because, in the light of new discovery, we have discovered that there are some processed foods or substances, which if introduced to the body can alter the body functioning and predispose one to certain ways of life.  Wisdom still requires that we select what we take into our body. It is from our mind and heart that we decide what is good or bad for ourselves. It is all about choice.

Though people, or our environment can influence our characters, we always have the freedom of choice. Moreover, one’s life style can be a product of social sins. The negligence of others, especially those in authority, can adversely affect one’s life.  Even at that, it does not rule out the consequences of our actions.

Hence, we should strive to guide our heart by listening to the words of the Lord. When we follow his ways, our heart will always produce fruits for eternal redemption. St Paul said in his letter to the Romans, “Do not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God-what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Roman 12:2. we all need discernment, lest we defile ourselves by what is in vogue and lose sight of the perfect will of God.

May the words of our mouth, and the meditation of our heart, be acceptable in the Lord’s sight. Amen.

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