AM Psalm 87, 90; PM Psalm 136
Genesis 47:27-48:7; 1 Corinthians 10:1-13; Mark 7:1-23
“Nothing that goes into someone from outside can make that person unclean; it is the things that come out of someone that make that person unclean.”
– Mark 7:15
This verse has always intrigued me. The Mark 7:1-23 passage deals with the oral tradition received by the Jewish elders in caring for the physical hygiene and social health of the people. Jesus says that keeping the traditions of the elders by washing hands before eating is not as important as keeping our hearts and insides clean; and that one’s inner cleanliness is revealed by what comes out, through intentions and actions. He cares more about our internal spiritual cleanliness that motivates our human behavior than about external hygiene.
Love is the fundamental element of Lent. In responding to the Lord’s love for us, we are called to practice self-denial, carry our cross and follow Jesus because of our love for Him. Lent can be a time of victory over appearances and a deep encounter with God, the souls around us, ourselves and our environment. Lent is a time to repent to God, to our neighbors, to ourselves; and to create awareness about our responsibility to invest our time according to God’s Will. Let us check our insides and match them with our outsides. May this be a time of reconciliation when our insides are renewed, cleansed and aimed toward producing godly fruits!
- Laurie Parrish