Thursday, August 23, 2018
Jesus called the crowd to Him and said, “Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.”
Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this?”
Jesus replied, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” – Matthew 15:10-14
The Pharisees, devout men who believed salvation was to be found in the retreating into the old way, law-and-order men in love with enforcing the rules placed on other people, self-righteous me, judgmental men, men who loved money, power and prestige, they hated Jesus for dared to challenge the moral center of their ways. He called them hypocrites and they were offended.
They questioned why His disciples did not do the ritual washing of their hands before a meal. And Christ answered to these critics, “Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” Food comes from the outside and enters into a person. but words rise out of the soul and into the world. If I had been a Pharisee I too would have been offended, but if I were a man of conscience and self-examination, I would give His words much prayerful thought. “From what well within me do my words do flow; what dark motivation gives rise to the ways I live; why am I blind to the sinfulness within me.”
It is a truth that Christ brings to us that the morally and spiritually blind cannot perceive their blindness and then those who follow the morally and spiritually blind end up sharing the tragedy of the fallen. Those who are physically blind are keenly aware of their blindness and seek the help of a trusted guide, but those who are spiritually, morally blind, they become the blind leading the blind.
It has always been this way, in the time of Christ and throughout the centuries, this tragedy of the spiritually and morally blind leading blind followers to their demise. And I witness this happening today, people blinded by wealth, fame, power, and the adulation of the crowd … yet who are skilled at getting people to follow them.
Each morning, each night, and whenever it comes to mind, I pray …”Lord, heal me of my blindness and enable me to see clearly.”
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz