Daily Gospel Reflection – Wednesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Bishop Robert Barron
February 8, 2023
Wednesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Mk 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.”
*United States Conference of Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus teaches that evil comes from within. From our hearts “come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.”
The Church teaches that such evils are consequences of original sin. The doctrine holds that there is something fundamentally off about us, that all is not well, that we are off-kilter, skewed, mixed up. We Catholics don’t hold to a doctrine of total depravity, but we do indeed hold that original sin has worked its way into every nook and cranny of our lives: our minds, our wills, our desires and passions, even our very bodies.
As G.K. Chesterton argued a century ago, original sin is the only doctrine for which there is empirical evidence, for we can feel it within ourselves and we can see the effects of it everywhere.
One of the surest signs of our dysfunction is that we tend to celebrate all of the wrong people and despise or look down upon the best people. Pay very close attention to the people that you don’t like, to those that you consider obnoxious; it might tell you a lot about your own spiritual state.