(this post originally appeared on theWord on Feb. 11, 2009)
Then he called the crowd again and said to them, â€œListen to me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.â€
When he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about the parable. He said to them, â€œThen do you also fail to understand? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile, since it enters, not the heart but the stomach, and goes out into the sewer?â€ (Thus he declared all foods clean.) And he said, â€œIt is what comes out of a person that defiles. For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.â€
Scripture passage from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright 1989, 1993, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.