Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Gospel Reflection

February 08, 2012
by V. Romeo A. Almeda
Sharing God’s Message to Me

First Reading:               1 Kings 10:1-10
Psalm:                         Psalm 37:5-6, 30-31, 39-40
Gospel:                        Mark 7:14-23

14And he called the people to him again, and said to them, "Hear me, all of you, and understand: 15there is nothing outside a man which by going into him can defile him; but the things which come out of a man are what defile him." 17And when he had entered the house, and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18And he said to them, "Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a man from outside cannot defile him, 19since it enters, not his heart but his stomach, and so passes on?" (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20And he said, "What comes out of a man is what defiles a man. 21For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, 22coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23All these evil things come from within, and they defile a man."

Let Me Change Your Heart

"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 7:20-23


What comes out of man are usually words, and these define the man. Crude words, crass words, or gentle, loving words give away a man's character for from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks (Mt 12:34). From the list above, spoken words are used in blasphemy, arrogance, folly. Of course, they may be used in the others also. Aside from words, action also comes out of man. So we have what I call action sins - unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, licentiousness. But both words and actions do not come out before they are nurtured in the heart and developed in the mind. Thoughts also come out of man.

In an Opus Dei recollection, Fr. Javier de Pedro elaborated on how we sin in thought through bad thoughts, sinful memories, and evil desires. When we think of a person and wish he/she gets hurt, or gets fired from work, or is dumped by his girlfriend, we are guilty of bad thoughts. When we recall and relive the pleasure of an adulterous relation in the past, or the thrills of fornication before, or once more enjoy the thought of a previous cash windfall from having duped or swindled somebody, we are guilty of sinful memories. And if we glance or peruse pornographic material, even light porn pictures from FHM or light porn stories from Cosmopolitan (targeting the teeners, young ladies, and mature women!), or if we plan to get credit for a subordinate's work to gain a promotion, we are guilty of evil desires. Truly, good and evil battle in our hearts, and the one that'll win is the one we would have bred.

LORD, you know my heart and its ways, You who formed me before I was born. Change my heart oh God, may I be like You. Amen.