Audio Readings February 8, 2012 5th Week in Ordinary Time

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

Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.” (Mark 7:15)

As vital an organ as it is, the human heart is also prone to some very threatening disorders: coronary artery disease, arrhythmia, conges­tive heart failure, and other car­diac conditions. And that’s just in the physical realm. Spiritually, our hearts are just as susceptible!

Addressing the differences in rit­ual between Jews and Gentiles regarding food, Jesus declared that nothing that a person eats—what enters into him from outside—can defile him. “Thus,” Mark tells us, “he declared all foods clean” (Mark 7:19). But then he turned the con­versation from the physical to the spiritual, declaring: “From within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licen­tiousness, envy, blasphemy, arro­gance, folly. All these evils come from within and they defile” (7:21-23).

Jesus used this conversation about clean and unclean foods to teach his disciples about clean and unclean hearts. He took the opportunity to tell how we all have sinful drives and ignoble impulses lurking within our hearts—and that this is where we need to focus our attention. We can’t simply blame the “sinful culture out there” for our failings, because it’s really what is within that defiles us. The environment around us, the company we keep, the unavoidable circumstances of our daily lives can present occasions to act out the sin­ful attitudes and immoral desires of our hearts, but they don’t make us sin. We sin because we are sinners— weak, fallen people. That’s why we confess that we’ve sinned “through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault” and not because “the devil made me do it.”

So how can we respond in godly ways to the challenges we face in the world around us? By cultivating hearts for God. By fostering a “heart-healthy” lifestyle that avoids what is dangerous to our spiritual welfare. We need to be careful about what we allow into our minds and hearts. Then our faith will be reflected in our lives, and our actions will flow from hearts full of love, hearts always seek­ing to do God’s will.

“Father, teach me to guard my heart. Purify me more and more, so that I can reflect your ways and your goodness to everyone around me.”~wau



About gemdk

I am a cradle Catholic who made my first Holy Communion over 5o years ago at All Saints Catholic Church in Houston,TX in 1961. Went to Mass every Sunday as a child and teen and then young adult. Fell away for about 12 years in the late 80's, early 90's and then realized what was missing in my life was my Catholic upbringing and faith. Found my home at Sacred Heart in Crosby. Filling up the void I had for those 12 years in more ways than I can imagine, loving every minute of it. But this blog is not about me as much as it is for me and anyone who wants/needs to hear the word of God. I'm merely the instrument God uses to post the readings.
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2 Responses to Audio Readings February 8, 2012 5th Week in Ordinary Time

  1. Pingback: Resources for 1 Kings 10:1 - 10

  2. Pingback: turn away from evil « JRFibonacci's blog: partnering with reality

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