WEDNESDAY: 5TH WEEK HOMILY IN ORDINARY TIME / YEAR B
THEME: NOT JUST THE OUTSIDE.
BY: FR. KARABARI PAUL
‘That which enters into the mouth doesn’t defile the man; but that which proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.’
In the Gospel (Mark 7:14-23), while challenging Jewish dietary observance, Jesus redirects the focus from that which enters the mouth (food) to that which springs from the mouth (thoughts, feelings, and motives) expressed in words. Given the longstanding emphasis on dietary laws, Jesus’ statement is quite radical.
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‘The good man out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure produces evil; for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks’
A good heart is the best gift we can offer to God and man. That is why the condition of our heart is very important. If we want our cars or our bodies to function well, we have to give them the right fuel. But what we feed our mind is equally important. Our thoughts influence our emotions and our behaviour. The Bible says: ‘The mouth speaks what the heart is full of’ (Luke 6:45). Jesus said a good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit.
Good thinking can’t produce bad results, just as bad thinking can’t produce good results. The Bible says, ‘Do not…be shaped by this world; instead be changed within by a new way of thinking.’ So how can we think differently? Firstly, we need to think about the unhelpful things we are filling our minds with. We will always end up thinking about what we are exposed to the most. The things we read, watch, and listen to affect our minds. Secondly, we need to be filling our minds with God’s truth. We need to remember that God’s ‘gracious Word can make you into what He wants you to be and give you everything you could possibly need’ (Acts 20:32).
The things we focus on can change how we feel. When we are focused on God, we will feel peace. When we are focused on our problems, we might feel fearful and overwhelmed. The Bible says: ‘You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you’ (Isaiah 26:3). The fuel we give our minds is our choice. God doesn’t force us to focus on Him. We have to make the choice to shift our focus away from unhelpful, worldly things, and onto God.
Today, men and women of our ‘fixing generation’ are seriously engaged in fixing face, skin, head, hands, legs while the heart and soul are dirty and dark. We desire to glitter on the outside and not bothered about the inside. And everything external has become our measure for judgement. GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE. May God bless and protect us all through Christ Our Lord Amen. Good morning.
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