Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Gospel: Mk 7: 1-8. 14-15.21-23

When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus, they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands. —For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews, do not eat without carefully washing their hands, keeping the tradition of the elders. And on coming from the marketplace, they do not eat without purifying themselves. And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed, the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds. So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him, “Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?” He responded, “Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written: This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts. You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.” He summoned the crowd again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand. Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile. “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.”

The Evil from Within: Human actions done freely without coercion from other people are usually a result of the decisions made from within the mind. It is from within the mind that a person decides to do good or evil. It is from within a person that evil actions come from. A person’s evil actions do not come from outside. For a person to get rid of the evil that leads to committing evil actions, one must be ready to observe the commandments of the Lord without adding or subtracting anything. Altering distorts the commandments of the Lord, making them no more the Lord’s, but from the evil one. To get rid of the evil within, a person must observe the commandment of the Lord as they are. Only then can the Lord God be close whenever we call upon him (Deut 4:1-2, 6-8).

PRAYER: Help me Lord to get rid of evil thoughts within me.