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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Wednesday 5th in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Gen 2:4b-9.15-17): At the time when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens —while as yet there was no field shrub on earth and no grass of the field had sprouted, for the Lord God had sent no rain upon the earth and there was no man to till the soil, but a stream was welling up out of the earth and was watering all the surface of the ground— the Lord God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being.

Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and he placed there the man whom he had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God made various trees grow that were delightful to look at and good for food, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 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».
Responsorial Psalm: 103
R/. O bless the Lord, my soul!
Bless the Lord, o my soul! O Lord, my God, you are great indeed! You are clothed with majesty and glory, robed in light as with a cloak.

All creatures look to you to give them food in due time. When you give it to them, they gather it; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.

If you take away their breath, they perish and return to their dust. When you send forth your spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth.
Verscicle before the Gospel (Jn 17:17ba): Alleluia. Your word, o Lord, is truth: consecrate us in the truth. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Mk 7,14-23): 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. Let everyone who has ears listen».

When Jesus got home and was away from the crowd, his disciples asked him about this saying and he replied, «So even you are dull? Do you not see that whatever comes from outside cannot make a person unclean? Since it enters, not the heart but the stomach and is finally passed out». Thus Jesus declared that all foods are clean. 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».

«Nothing that enters one from out¬side can make that person unclean»

Fr. Norbert ESTARRIOL i Seseras
(Lleida, Spain)

Today, Jesus teaches us that God made everything good. But our intentions —which are not always right— may contaminate what we do. This is why Jesus Christ says: «Nothing that enters one from out­side can make that person unclean. It is what comes out from within that makes un­clean» (Mk 7:15). The experience of the offence against God is very real. And we Christians can easily discover the evil's deep mark in a sin's enslaved world. The mission Jesus charges us with, is to clean —with the help of His grace— all this contamination men's bad intentions have spread all over the world.

The Lord wants all our activities to be carried out well: He expects us to show in them intensity, method, science, know-how, eagerness for perfection, not looking for anything else but reinstating God's plan for Creation. For God made everything for man's benefit: «Purity of intention. —You will always have it if, in everything you do, you only look forward to pleasing God» (Saint Josemaria).

Only our will can spoil the Divine Plan. And we must watch that this is not so. Quite often we let in vanity, pride, despondency for lack of faith, impatience when our aims are not attained... This is why saint Gregory the Great warned us: «Be not seduced by any flattering prosperity, for only the foolish traveler stops along the way to admire the beautiful landscape while forgetting where he is heading for».

It will, therefore, be convenient to pay attention to how we offer our deeds to God, to always be aware of His presence and to frequently consider the Divine Filiation. Thus, all our days—through work and prayer— will be fortified and begin in our Lord, and whatever we start in his name will reach its desired ending.

For we can make great things if we realize that each one of our human actions is a co-redeemer when joined to deeds and actions of Christ.