February 11, 2015
(Our Lady of Lourdes)
In response to the Pharisees accusation that Jesus’ disciples do not follow the strict hand washing rules set forth in the Jewish law, Jesus said, “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.” Mk 7:14-23
And from the Creation story of Genesis, The LORD God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden, to cultivate and care for it. The LORD God gave man this order: “You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and evil. From that tree you shall not eat; the moment you eat from it you are surely doomed to die.” Gn 2:4b-9, 15-17
It surely sounds like God’s fruit, the “apple,” from the forbidden tree would more than defile the person who ate it. It would actually kill them. But Jesus said that nothing incoming can defile the person. Then maybe it wasn’t the apple that poisoned Adam and Eve. Maybe it really was what was within their own hearts that came out. It was their uncertainty, their loss of trust in God, their seeking to be independent, separate and better than God – or at least His equal, as the tempter so convinced them.
You see, brothers and sisters in Christ, the biggest challenge in life is not letting our gut feelings control us. Instead we need to learn what’s truly right and what’s morally wrong so that we never think or do those things. It might take a little sacrifice. It might take a little dying to self to live in Christ. This is our call. This is our hope. Pray constantly that the Holy Spirit will help us in this task. And then LIVE!
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