“Allowing the Lord to soak us and wash us clean in the hot waters of correction and contrition, so as to shine as pure and clean children of God!”
(Based on 1 Kgs 10:1-10 and and Mk 7:14-23)
“Mamma”, said the child, feeling quite disturbed, “I feel very upset today, ‘cos my teacher corrected me!”
The mother – who was washing dishes – looked at the child and told him, “look at what I am doing…”
>> The child looked at the mother, washing the dishes
Pointing to a set of vessels that had been left unwashed overnight – she said: “Look at these vessels
>> It is very hard to scrub these – ‘cos the dirt is stuck for a long time
So the easy method, is…
… to dip them in hot water
… keep it soaked for sometime
… and then wash!”
Then taking the child close to her, she said, “That’s how it is in life as well!
Sometimes when we are stuck with things that are not good…
We need a nice dip in the “hot waters of correction”
… remain soaked in the “feel of contrition”
>> So that we can “emerge clean!”
Always remain, therefore, open to corrections!”
Are we persons who remain open to corrections…
… so that feeling contrite, we can emerge clean?
The Gospel of the Day is a strong act of Jesus reminding the Scribes and Pharisees to undergo the process of “being washed”…
… and to be “scrubbed off” the long stuck dirt of duplicity and hypocrisy.
The Gospel begins with the statement, “Jesus called to Him the people and said to them…” (Mk 7:14)
Jesus calls together the multitude to Himself to speak something…
>> Jesus brings aside the people to Himself to address to them something…
The background to this action of Jesus, is the context of the unfair remarks of the Pharisees and Scribes about Jesus and His disciples, in Mk 7: 1-14.
The scribes and the Pharisees had objected that Jesus’ disciples failed to keep up the tradition of the Elders to have the ritual washing before eating.
This exercise of ritual washing was more a ceremonial one.
They attached greater importance to external cleanliness over internal purity.
>> They accorded higher priority to hygiene outside than to transparency within.
They would not bother, hearts being corrupted, but they would not tolerate dirty hands!
>> They would despise unwashed hands, but they would bypass filthy hearts!
But Jesus is in prime opposition to all such deceitful and corrupt human practices.
>> He flays the Scribes and Pharisees for their misplaced priorities.
>> He slams the Scribes and Pharisees for their misleading interpretation of purity.
And so, Jesus summoned the crowd and explained what is the meaning of real cleanliness and purity:
“Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile” (Mk 7: 16)
Indeed, a remarkable statement from Jesus, the Purest and the Holiest One!
It is not just our hands alone that matter; it is our hearts that matter most!
>> It is not just our medical hygiene that counts; it is our lives that needs consideration the most!
The Pharisees and the Scribes for a long time, had enforced importance only to external purity and outside cleanliness.
Their authority was used to stamp the importance of rituals and traditions, which were meant to…
… only emphasize bodily cleaning, but avoiding transparency in life
… only highlight cleansing of external parts, but overlooking sanctity of heart and mind
But, Jesus comes in great opposition and places things in the right perspective.
>> He reminds them of the “need for correction!”
Perhaps, we are also in “need of a correction”…
… let us therefore make a self-introspection:
>> I may be appearing to be clean outside…
… but is my heart pure and holy?
>> I may be appearing to be an angel to the world…
… but am I a barn of devilish actions within?
>> I may be appearing to be very good to all…
… but am I full of anger, jealousy and greed inside?
>> I may be appearing to be successful…
… but am I decaying interiorly with impurity and deceit?
Is it not time to cleanse my heart and life, which is perhaps…
… defiled with sin?
… impure with unhealthy thoughts?
… and sullied with evil intentions?
In the Old Testament, we read of how Queen Sheba travelled from far to behold the richness and the wisdom of King Solomon (1 Kgs 10:1-10)
>> As long as Solomon co-operated with the Grace of God, the blessings of the Lord filled his life
>> The greater He depended on the Wisdom of the Lord, the greater was the Lord’s Goodness that he experienced in life.
However, there could be certain times, when we fail to depend on the Lord…
… fail to do things in the right way
>> Yes…Sometimes we get stuck with things that are not good…
In all such situations, we need a nice dip in the “hot waters of correction”
… remain soaked in the “feel of contrition”
>> So that we can be “washed clean!”
We may feel sad for sometime… upset for a few moments
>> But let us always remain open to corrections…
… and co-operate with the Lord in “being washed” of every bit of corruption and malice from our hearts!
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Take great care not to get overly upset whenever you commit some faults.
Humble yourselves immediately before God.
>> But let this humility be a loving humility…
… which will fill you with fresh confidence to throw yourself immediately into God’s Arms
… secure in the knowledge that God – in His Goodness – will help you to change for the better!”