Mass Readings: Genesis 2:4b-9/Mark 7:14-23
The scribes and Pharisees of Jesus’ day were obsessed with the external. Strict observance of every ritual and law was paramount. As we see over and over, this preoccupation with the external was at the expense of the internal. Worse, they seemed most obedient to the obligations that most sheltered them from serving their neighbor.
It’s easy to do the external. Following rules or rituals doesn’t require much difficult change. The external does not necessarily require us to be open to the needs of our neighbor. Real change, real conversion, real love--that’s a different story. If God breathes his own breath into us to make us living beings, then “evil thoughts, unchastity…greed, malice” and other impurities of our hearts are all the more profane. Our need for cleansing is all the more profound.
Prayer: Lord, cleanse my heart of all impurity; of all that is not you.