Good News for the Day, February 7, 2018
Wednesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time (331)

Jesus called the public together another time to say to them, “Listen up, everybody, and understand. Nothing at all that comes into somebody from the outside truly affect a person badly. What comes out from the inside are what harms somebody.” When he got home away from the crowd his disciples asked him what was the point of his remark He told them, “Don’t you get it, either? Don’t you realize that everything that goes into a person from outside cannot really hurt you as a person, since it enters not the heart but the stomach—and is eliminated into the toilet?” (With this, he was declaring all food ritually clean—all right to eat anything.) “But what comes out of someone is what defiles a person. From within a person—from the heart—come evil thoughts, sexual failures, stealing, killing, adultery, greed, meanness, deception, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, stupidity. All these evils come from inside a person—they are what destroy your Life.” (Mark 7)

How fundamental this conversation! How it gets to the heart of “understanding” a what Jesus is trying to convey to you—and which so elusive to so many!

Hard as it may be to accept—whatever comes to you comes from God! Your father—a Good Father—allows it, and, for practical purposes—offers everything to you as a gift. You and I (and Jesus) may pray that “if possible, let it pass.” (“I would just as soon not get cancer.”) The gift may appear as challenge or joy; it may be demanding and harsh—or a wondrous miracle; it may feel overwhelmingly “harmful” or marvelously enriching. No matter! It may mean the death of your flesh, or a medical recover from a diagnosis of death.

What counts, though, is what is inside—your response, your acceptance, your forgiveness of people who “know not what they are doing” and “this day you are with me in Paradise,” What is vital is your repentance and resurrection, your getting free from bad habits and addiction—and your willingness to keep on loving.

What counts is your heart—Jesus points out—your growth and appreciation of God’s love, your evolving into a child who trusts, a sinner who believes, a mortal who lives the New Life of the resurrected, wounded Jesus. You do not deny the Cross to carry—and the Resurrection that is the True, ever-so-truer, Life that is not mere flesh

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