In today’s Gospel from Mark we hear Jesus teach about the sinfulness of man coming from what is in the heart, not from what he eats. In accordance with Jewish law, certain foods had always been considered off limits and deemed “unclean.” Therefore, if a Jewish person ate an unclean food, then that person committed a sin. Yet, in this teaching, Jesus declares all foods clean. This is because it is not the food that we eat that separates us from God. Through Jesus’ teaching they gained an understanding of the causation of sin. For, it is our sin of words (our malicious speech, hatred, etc.) that make us move away from God.
Jesus could understand why the Jewish people needed to hear this message. It directly contradicted what they practiced. However, once alone with the Disciples, Jesus noticed that they continued to question Him about this teaching. Jesus responded with a question: “Are even you likewise without understanding?” (Mark 7:18) Such a question makes you think that Jesus thought “they should know Me better by now.”
Are you Without Understanding?
Are we like the Disciples, in need of understanding? Is there something in your life, a tradition, or a situation, for which you might need to seek understanding? Perhaps you are like the Jewish people, who followed tradition, for which you might need to change your ways. Or, maybe you find yourself in a situation for which you see no way out. If so, then learn from Jesus’ teaching today. Have whatever words you speak, or deeds you perform, be in accordance with His will, and do not fret about the rest. Then you will be able to answer “no” when Jesus asks you, “Are even you likewise without understanding?’
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