From the Gospel according to Mark. Mk 7:1-13
When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus, they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands. (For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews, do not eat without carefully washing their hands, keeping the tradition of the elders. And on coming from the marketplace they do not eat without purifying themselves. And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed, the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds.)
So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him, “Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?”
He responded, “Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written: This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts. You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.”
He went on to say, “How well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition! For Moses said, Honor your father and your mother, and Whoever curses father or mother shall die. Yet you say, ‘If someone says to father or mother, “Any support you might have had from me is qorban”‘ (meaning, dedicated to God), you allow him to do nothing more for his father or mother. You nullify the word of God in favor of your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many such things.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Jesus seeks to teach where true purity is attained. The key lies in the heart and it is the purity of intention. The opposite of purity is hypocrisy, that is, caring for the outside appearances while neglecting what comes from the heart. Human laws focus on the outside matters, but they forget about the inner truth.
Applied to marriaged life:
John: Tonight, I came up with an idea for a new business.
Gemma: What is it about?
John: Let’s start a cosmetic clinic.
Gemma: Well, you’re certainly not very original. There are already more cosmetic clinics than banks.
John: True, but those focus on outside appearances. I’m talking about a clinic for inner purity.
Gemma: Now, that is original. And how do you achieve that?
John: Easy. I’ll advertise on social media, and the location will be the sanctuary of the parish. Haha! Just imagine the surprise when they come for liposuction and find themselves in attending “confes-suction” at the confessional. We’ll tell them it’s a new system, and that’s it.
Gemma: Haha, I can imagine. Come on, get up; it’s already 7:30, and we have to go to work.
Let us not neglect what is inside while focusing on appearances. Praised be the Lord.