St Josephine Bakhita, virgin
5th Week in Ordinary Time (Year A) : Wednesday 8th February 2023
Gen. 2:4-9,15-17; Ps. 103:1-2,27-30;
Mk. 7:14-23 (Ps. Wk. I)
The passage from the Book of Genesis presents the image of two trees. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil symbolises the limits that God places on humanity for their own good.
Humanity can know many things but lacks the breadth and depth of God’s wisdom. Only God knows what is best for humanity. The tree of life represents immortality.
When the first parents lived in the garden, their lives were not threatened. Once they were expelled, they were subjected to death.
Jesus is the Giver of life. Only when we are with Him and obey Him will we receive the fullness of life. Jesus clearly expresses that it is not what or how one eats that makes a person clean or unclean. It is what comes from the inner depths of the person that makes one pure or impure. For Jesus, external things, such as the food one eats, do not make a person evil. It is one’s actions, inspired from within, that show whether a person is living according to God’s commands.
In this way, the Gospel writer presents the various ways believers live in relationship with others and respond to God “from within with their whole being, or merely with “lip service”. He points out that sin, which alone defiles a person, comes from within oneself. It is more important to be concerned about evil thoughts and sinful deeds than merely observing ceremonial purity.
Lord, may I believe in You with my whole being.