Gospel Reading and Thoughts for August 30, 2015

Gospel Reading and Thoughts for August 30, 2015

Mark 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.”

Our children are a beautiful example of Christ’s new instruction about what defiles a person. First of all, did you realize that entire chapters of the Bible are devoted to the rules of the Old Testament, including things like what to eat and not to eat, who to touch, and who to stay away from, how to clense yourself and the punishment for being unclean. But Jesus wiped it all away and said, “Look , what goes in doesn’t matter nearly as much as what comes out!”Image result for dirty faced happy kids

Our sweet messy little children! When they are little, they put anything in their mouths – dirt, food hidden under the table for days, a sucker that has dropped onto the ground. Can it make them dirty? Yes, to an extent, but being an immunologist, I also think that these little doses of germs probably boost our immune system and make it stronger. But look at what comes out of them… They don’t hate anyone. They don’t do anything with malice or pride. They are more often than not a big jumble of pure emotions. We as parents get to teach them how to deal with these emotions, whether it be tantrum-throwing anger or giddy, reckless, silly joy. But we can take a lesson from them too in the purity with which they treat others. What is on their faces or all over their hands doesn’t make them dirty and nothing that comes out of them could be considered truly hateful. So dig in the dirt and feel those emotions!