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The Heart of the Problem

Gospel Reflection for Wednesday, February 10th, 2021 — GOSPEL — Mark 7:14-23

“What’s the deal with sin in our age”? That’s one of the questions I ask in my recent book “Deathly Silence.” No. Unlike what the ancient Pharisees taught, sin is not about the external things we do. Our individual righteousness has nothing to do with what we eat, or like we saw in yesterday’s reading, how many times we wash our hands. Our individual holiness is a matter of heart.

Is your heart focused on things from above or are you more concerned with worldly pleasures? Are you more concerned with outward appearances and what people think, than maintaining fidelity to the moral values revealed in God’s word?

Today’s culture is dead set on removing virtually every inference of Christ from the public forum and social discourse. The sad thing is that enough folks claiming to be Christian are supporting this agenda, that all sorts of evil is now okay, by legal fiat.

The Church of our age is more concerned with appearances. For all that matters, they are Christian in name only. Their true allegiance is to politically correct doctrine rather than Jesus Christ. They are the modern-day Pharisees — Christian in name only. They are so stuck in the wisdom of the world that they’re intent on building bridges of acceptance of sin — not simply welcoming sinners as Christians should, but actually teaching that many things are no longer sinful.

So, the problem of "Sin" that I asked about at the beginning, comes down to not having the proper focus or correct spiritual priorities. Becoming a Christian is truly a matter of the heart. Christianity requires a commitment of denying self, worldly norms, and turning from/rejecting sin. My Christian friends, it takes more than calling ourselves Christian to appropriate eternal life, we also, as Jesus told us, need to “Do The Will of The Father.” (Matthew 17:21-23) That, my sisters and brothers is the essence of an “Authentic Faith.


GOSPEL — Mark 7:14-23

Jesus 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.” When he got home away from the crowd his disciples questioned him about the parable. He said to them, “Are even you likewise without understanding? Do you not realize that everything that goes into a person from outside cannot defile, since it enters not the heart but the stomach and passes out into the latrine?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) “But what comes out of the man, that is what defiles him. From within the man, from his heart, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within and they defile.”

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