Wednesday of the 5th Week of the Year

Gen 2:5-9, 15-17; Mk 7:14-23

The Tradition of the Elders

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

I remember my three year old grandniece proudly showing her drawings to her mother. To me the drawings were indecipherable, shapeless, meaningless. Her mother looked at them with glowing eyes however and said, “Wow, how many forms you can draw! Thank you for sharing them with Mama!”

At another occasion, I witnessed a grade-schooler showing her artwork to her teacher, excitedly saying, “Teacher, look!” her teacher looked, frowned and said, “My, you’ve got the colors wrong! Why red! Ano ba ‘yan? Here let me correct it.”

At times we get caught in the external forms and miss the inner value, even the essence of things. We get stuck in the apparent good (or bad) and miss the more important inner motives.

Jesus goes straight to the point: unless the externals are true expressions of what is within, they are empty. Thus he sets right our sometimes lopsided scales of values. (Sr. Lou-Anne, SSpS Bible Diary 2004)

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Meditation: Where does evil come from and can we eliminate it from our personal lives? Jesus deals with this issue in response to the religious leaders’ concern with ritual defilement – making oneself unfit to offer acceptable worship and sacrifice to God. The religious leaders were very concerned with avoiding ritual defilement, some no doubt out of reverent fear of God, and others because they wanted to be seen as observant Jews. Jesus points his listeners to the source of true defilement – evil desires which come from inside a person’s innermost being. Sin does not just happen from external forces. It first springs from the innermost recesses of our thoughts and intentions, from the secret desires which only the individual mind and heart can conceive.

When Cain became jealous of his brother Abel, God warned him to guard his own heart: “Sin is couching at the door; it’s desire is for you, but you must master it” (Genesis 4:7). Cain unfortunately did not take God’s warning to heart. He allowed his jealousy to grow into spite and hatred for his brother, and he began to look for an opportunity to eliminate his brother alltogether. When jealously and other sinful desires come knocking at the door of your heart, how do you respond? Do you entertain them and allow them to overtake you? Fortunately God does not leave us alone in our struggle with hurtful desires and sinful tendencies. He gives us the grace and strength we need to resist and overcome sin when it couches at the door of our heart.

The Lord wants to set us free from the burden of guilt and from the destructive force of sin in our personal lives. He wants to purify our hearts and renew our minds so we can love and act in every situation as he would love and act. The Lord is ready to change and purify our hearts through the grace and help of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. Like a physician who probes the wound before treating it, God through his Word and Spirit first brings sin into the light that we may recognize it for what it truly is and call upon his mercy and grace for pardon and healing. The Spirit of truth is our Consoler and Helper. His power and grace enables us to choose what is good and to reject what is evil. Do you believe in the power of God’s love to heal, change, and transform your heart and mind?

“Lord Jesus, fill me with your Holy Spirit and make my heart like yours. Strengthen my heart, mind, and my will that I may freely choose to love what is good and to reject what is evil.” (Don Schwager) rc.net/wcc/readings/feb12.htm

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Catechism a Day: Mark 7:15: “Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person but the things that come out from within are what defile.”

Christ and the Law (CCC 582: “Going even further, Jesus perfects the dietary law, so important in Jewish daily life, by revealing its pedagogical meaning through a divine interpretation: “Whatever goes into a man from outside cannot defile him. . . (Thus he declared all foods clean.). . . What comes out of a man is what defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts. . .”  In presenting with divine authority the definitive interpretation of the Law, Jesus found himself confronted by certain teachers of the Law who did not accept his interpretation of the Law, guaranteed though it was by the divine signs that accompanied it.  This was the case especially with the sabbath laws, for he recalls, often with rabbinical arguments, that the sabbath rest is not violated by serving God and neighbor, which his own healings did.” (Fr. Iko Bajos February 12, 2014).

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  1. 19, 21: “THUS HE DECLARED ALL FOODS CLEAN….. from their hearts.” The Lord looks at our hearts. Instead of evil things, we can have:

GRATEFUL HEARTS – A grateful heart is always happy.

SINCERE HEARTS – If we can be true to what our hearts say, we will find goodness within.

JOYFUL HEARTS – We can choose how we feel. We can decide to be kind. We can opt to wear a smile instead of a frown.

The Lord looks at our hearts. It is in our hearts where we can be ourselves. For it is only through the heart that one truly sees.

“The mouth of the just murmurs wisdom,” (Reggie)

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“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” (Eleanor Roosevelt)

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Reflection for February 11, Wednesday; Fifth Week in Ordinary Time; Mark 7:14-23 Reflection: Where does the desire to commit sin emanates? It first emanates from within us. It begins when we think about it and if we don’t stop thinking about our desire to commit sin it slowly progresses. Until we actually give flesh to our desire to sin by actually doing it!

For example, the desire of a husband/wife to betray their marriage vows. It starts by thinking about it and when we see that the situation is conducive to commit the act of sin/betrayal. The spouse will now succumb to commit this immoral sin. Therefore the desire to commit sin originates from within us.

How then could we avoid sin? We pray to Jesus and ask His help to exterminate whatever sinful desires that we have in our minds. Then we also have to do our part by taking action to rid ourselves of the desire to sin. Because if we pray yet our actions is not according to what we have been praying for we will still commit sin sooner or later. As the saying goes God help those who help themselves.

But come to think of it, why do we commit sin? The simple answer is we don’t take our faith in Jesus seriously this is the reason why we commit sin when we want to commit it. Are we not tired yet of sinning? Are we not tired yet of mortgaging our lives to the devil? When we continuously mortgage our lives to the devil through sin, there is the danger that we may not anymore be able to get out of it!

It’s about time that we change this cycle of sin, it’s about time that we rid ourselves of any sinful thoughts and desires. It’s about time that we free ourselves from any problems and complication brought about by sin.  This could only happen if we ask Jesus to come into our lives.

Would you be willing to humbly pray to Jesus to come into your life? –  Marino J. Dasmarinas

Source: mjdasma.blogspot.com/2015/02/reflection-for-february-11-wednesday.html

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Wednesday of the 5th Week of the Year

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