Susanne Timpani (No.76)
14 And he called the people to him again, and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: 15 there is nothing outside a man which by going into him can defile him; but the things which come out of a man are what defile him.”[g]17 And when he had entered the house, and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a man from outside cannot defile him, 19 since it enters, not his heart but his stomach, and so passes on?”[h] (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, “What comes out of a man is what defiles a man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a man.”
Have you ever been on a diet?
It’s tough. Suddenly foods that we take for granted become incredibly desirable. If we focus on what we can’t have, we can become quite miserable. It must have been like that for the Jews during Jesus’ time. Imagine if we believed that eating incorrectly could cost us our salvation?
As a nurse I can categorically say that what we eat is important.
Eating well is important to prevent or manage multiple conditions. Diabetes, bowel disorders, allergies, prevention or management of lifestyle diseases; the list goes on.
So too does the media. Reality TV shows which focus on food are incredibly popular. Thousands of Bloggers devote time to research and write articles on meal preparation. Cook books are frequently best-sellers.
Jesus’ message is just as relevant for us today. Imagine if our world exhorted us to care more about what comes out of our hearts than it does about what goes into our body?
Eating well is important to our spiritual life. Our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit, and how we care for them is important.
So too is the state of our heart. We want our internal life to be pleasing to God’s Spirit.
That is what prayer is for. We learn about God’s ways during our prayer just as much as we learn about food from watching TV.
5 minutes: READ the text slowly.
REFLECT on a phrase or word that struck you.
SPEAK to God about your thoughts.
5 minutes: LISTEN to God speak to you.RESPOND with a prayer that feels right for you
Next Reflection: Malcolm DaviesFriday 13th February, 2015