In the Gospel, Jesus goes to the deeper issue of the source of defilement. A person is not made unclean by what one eats. What defiles a person is what comes out of the “heart” that is the source of all spiritual and moral conduct. Jesus does not abrogate the Mosaic laws of purification for the Jews. Rather he attacks the delusion that sinful men and women can attain true purity before God through scrupulous observance of cultic purity. Only repentance can cleanse the defilement of the heart.
Gospel • MARK 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 a person, that is what defiles. 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.”
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