Our reading from Mark 7:1-8,14-15,21-23 today tells how the Pharisees and some of the scribes followed Jesus and his disciples watching them closely. They asked Jesus why his followers did not observe the Jewish cleanliness laws and wash their hands, bowls, cups and just about everything else they touched. Jesus seems to have lost a bit of patience at this point and chides them about a prophecy of Isaiah. Isaiah prophesied, “You disregard God’s command but cling to human tradition.” He further points out that anything entering a person cannot defile them. It is what comes out a person’s heart and soul that defiles.
Let’s think about that for just moment. Many times, things come out of our mouths that really hurt people. I’ve heard it said the tongue is sharper than a two-edged sword. I bet every one of us has experienced something being said about us or about someone we love. Sometimes hateful thoughts come into our minds even about those we are close to. All kind of ideas and other imaginings can hurt us and hurt those around us. I think Jesus is trying to tell us that we must guard our thoughts, words, and actions to make sure we do our best not to hurt anyone, especially those who are most vulnerable. When we make a mistake, we need to do our best not to repeat it. This is how we learn to make sure what comes out of us is always good and holy.
Peace and All Good!