February 11, 2015

The Gospel Today

Wednesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

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.”

Reflection (Sem. Jonathan Cigaral):

“Sin is always something that comes from the heart and not something we do unintentionally.”

I have been in the priestly formation for three years now.  I would say that one of the most significant learnings that I have gained inside the seminary is to understand and appreciate what life in the community really is.  Community is an integral part of my vocation.  Within the community, I realized the importance of establishing relationship with people, a kind of relationship which is built on trust and respect.

Just last semester, my relationship with my fellow brothers in the community was put to a test.  There were misunderstandings between people which I tried to avoid because I did not want to be involved.  I did not like the feeling of being caught up in arguments.  Thus, I remained silent and veered away from confrontation.  However, time came when I could not help being caught up because the people involved were the same people whom I am close with.  Situation got heated up and I ended saying hurtful and bad words to one of my brothers.  I uttered things which were borne out of so much anger.  In the end, I hurt other people’s feelings and caused rift in our relationship.

In our Gospel, Jesus tells His disciples that “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.” (Marl 1:20-24) Indeed, this is true with my own experience with my fellow brother.  Due to so much hatred in my heart, what came out from me were sinful words which caused emotional pain to him.

The invitation of the Gospel for me is to keep myself clean by purifying what is in my heart.  I need to exert effort no to contaminate myself with sinful thoughts which eventually result to sinful actions.  This can be done by further deepening my relationship with God through my personal prayers.  If my thoughts are always filled with the goodness of God, then eventually it will fill my heart and good ness will overflow from it.  Once it overflows, I can share it to others which is what God wants all of His children do.

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