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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Sunday 22nd (B) in Ordinary Time

Gospel text (Mk 7,1-8.14-15.21-23): Jesus then called the people to him again and said to them, «Listen to me, all of you, and try to understand. Nothing that enters one from out­side can make that person unclean. It is what comes out from within that makes un­clean». One day the Pharisees gathered around Jesus and with them were some teachers of the Law who had just come from Jerusalem. They noticed that some of his disciples were eating their meal with unclean hands, that is, without washing them. Now the Pharisees, and in fact, all the Jews, never eat without washing their hands for they follow the tradition received from their ancestors. Nor do they eat anything when they come from the market without first washing themselves. And there are many other traditions they observe, for example, the ritual washing of cups, pots and plates. So the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law asked him, «Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders, but eat with unclean hands?». Jesus answered, «You, shallow people! How well Isaiah prophesied of you when he wrote: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. The worship they offer me is worthless, for what they teach are only human rules’. You even put aside the commandment of God to hold fast to human tradition».

Jesus then called the people to him again and said to them, «Listen to me, all of you, and try to understand. Nothing that enters one from outside can make that person unclean. It is what comes out from within that makes unclean». And He went on, «What comes out of a person is what defiles, for evil designs come out of the heart: theft, murder, adultery, jealousy, greed, maliciousness, deceit, indecency, slander, pride and folly. All these evil things come from within and make a person unclean».

Illustration: Pili Piñero

Today Jesus tells us where the evil in the World comes from: from within our hearts. His disciples do not understand, and that is why they ask Him to explain everything to them in detail… today we still do not understand: when anything goes wrong, somebody else is always to be blamed for it (it wasn’t me!) And if it is not “somebody else’s” fault, then the “system” is the one to be blamed, or the “weather”, or perhaps “society… no matter what, it is always something abstract and impersonal.

-Let us not lie to ourselves! Ask yourself: What is it that I am doing? What is it that lies deep in my heart?