“For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a man.” Mark 7:21-23.
If I had a lot of money, there are a lot of places in this world I would like to travel to at least before I die. However, as the saying goes, a true voyage of discovery is not in seeing new lands but in changing one’s eyes. Our readings today invite us on a special voyage of discovery – the land deep down within!
Yes, just as the queen of Sheba travelled all the way from Africa to see Solomon who was actually trending on world media (back in the days) as the wisest fellow amongst all humans, we are called today to travel into a place we don’t really like to visit; the heart; the cooking pot so to say where our ideas, inspirations, motivations and feelings emanate from.
Jesus says, it is not what comes into a man from outside that defile him rather it is what comes from within a man. This means we have something inside of us that produces things which eventually destroy us.
The question is: “How often do I take out time to examine the contents of my thoughts? How often do I even try to censor that inner drama that goes on within me? When last did I take a broom and mop into my dark room; the place where I store my lustful fantasies, my never-to-be-forgiven enemies, my vain ambitions, my desire for revenge and so on?
Dear friend, if you must worship God and really avoid sin, then never allow your thoughts be on auto-pilot. Be the driver, select, control, adjust your thoughts. In his book, “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari” Robin Sharma exposed a secret of controlling one’s inner wold – he said the mind is incapable of thinking of two opposite thoughts at the same time.
This means, once you catch yourself thinking of or dwelling on something bad, you can quickly stop it by forcing yourself to think of the direct opposite. I believe the battle against sin is a battle of the mind. We save ourselves from defilement by purifying that thing inside of us that manufactures bad thoughts.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, make me pure and holy inside. Amen.
*Be happy, live positive, it is well with you. Wednesday of the 5th week in Ordinary time. Bible Study: 1st Kings 10:1-10 and Mark 7:14-23.*