Jesus confirms a man’s wicked acts originate in his impure heart. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by pursuing the Virtue of Truth so he can valiantly live Christ’s Truth in the darkened world and by building the Virtue of Chastity so he can reject lust and receive Jesus.
18th Week in Ordinary time – Tuesday – Alternate Year/Cycle A – Mt 15:1-2, 10-14
After clashing with the Pharisees, Jesus exhorts the crowd to undergo an inner conversion and to reject empty man-made rituals, in preparation for the New Covenant which will overturn the ritual practices of the Old Covenant (ritual washing, food restrictions, etc.).
Jesus reveals that food does not defile a man, but that a man’s thoughts, words and deeds defile a man. He confirms the falseness of the Pharisees’ teaching and warns the disciples to not follow them to destruction (into a pit). Omitted from the Liturgy (vv 15-20), the disciples are confused and Jesus rebukes them for their lack of understanding and then patiently explains His teaching. Using simple biology, Jesus confirms that food, by itself, cannot defile a man, for it is eaten, digested and eliminated. Jesus’ New Covenant will eliminate the dietary restrictions of the Old Covenant and focus men on the essential need to seek deep inner spiritual conversion.
Jesus turns from the digestive system to the centrality of the heart; in the biblical sense, the heart is the center of a man from which good and evil decisions originate that lead to holy or sinful deeds. Jesus points to the greater spiritual truth that a man’s true defilement is sinfulness brought on by an impure heart: “evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.” Because of these vices, men must repent and undergo a conversion of their heart and to live with the higher purpose of loving God and neighbor.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Consider with awe the fierceness of Jesus as He Aggressively confronts the Pharisees and scribes who have come to judge Him: refusing to be intimidated by the power and influence of the Pharisees, Jesus speaks Truth with tremendous Courage (a part of Fortitude), knowing they will eventually murder Him; He argues from the Authority (Ethos, a part of Reason) of ancient Scripture (Isaiah) to Harshly Condemn the Pharisees and their religious practices as unjust, Insulting them as hypocrites (pretenders); the perfection of Piety (a part of Justice by which elders are to be esteemed), He condemns the Pharisees well-established religious practices as being in direct opposition to the word of God.
Live Christ’s Truth in the darkened world
Realize: The modern world’s dark spiral into sin, chaos, and suffering is caused by a rejection of the objective truth of morality by which every Catholic man can know how to choose to do the right and refuse to do the wrong.
Believe: Reflect upon The Moral Law (CCC 1950-1986, 2031).
Pray: Jesus, Divine Truth, help me build the Virtue of Truth (a part of Justice) so that I willingly receive the truth of Your Moral Law, rigorously confront and repent from my own sins, and be guided by You to live a life of holiness, despite the Satan’s current horrific influence on the modern culture.
Reject lust, seek chastity and receive Jesus
Realize: Jesus calls men to inner conversion, for when men are consumed by various vices including Lust, they can never fully receive Him into their hearts; Jesus will not fully reside in the hearts of men who commit sexual sin (pornography, fornication, masturbation).
Believe: Reflect upon The 9th Commandment (CCC 2514-2533) and the Purification of the Heart (CCC 2517-2519).
Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Chastity, help me build the Virtue of Chastity (a part of Temperance) so I may, with Your help, battle against lust, make my heart more pure and hospitable for You, and invite You into my heart to rule over my life and grant me peace and happiness.