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Faith Daily | 8 February 2023

PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p533

Father of all,

who gave your only-begotten Son

to take upon himself the form of a servant

and to be obedient even to death on a cross:

give us the same mind that was in Christ Jesus,

that, sharing in his humility,

we may come to be with him in his glory;

where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.


GOSPEL for the Day: Mark 7: 14-23

14Then he called the crowd again and said to them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: 15there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.”

17When he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18He said to them, “Then do you also fail to understand? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile, 19since it enters, not the heart but the stomach, and goes out into the sewer?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20And he said, “It is what comes out of a person that defiles. 21For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, 22adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. 23All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”


What do we take in?

As Christians we don't really have any rules or boundaries around what we eat. We can eat meat or choose not to, eat with whoever we like, whenever we like, wherever we like. Jesus was pretty clear that purity rules around food were not only unnecessary but could be harmful.

I do wonder, though, what Jesus would think about what we consume today - not food, but the many and varied kinds of media messaging we are exposed to with or without our consent. These messages go straight to our hearts , don't they? In every election campaign, whenever a policy change is proposed, whenever someone with power is worried they will be called to account, a person or group is chosen to be targeted, scapegoated, and it is difficult to challenge the messages that are so persistent from so many places.

These messages that go to the heart - I do believe they have the power to defile us because of what we do with them. The inverse is also true - the messages we give have the power to speak to the heart as well, and maybe provide clarity and light where there is darkness.

So let's choose carefully what we allow ourselves to consume, and let's keep our hearts clean from all that defiles.


Cleanse our consciences, O Lord,

and enlighten our hearts

through the daily presence of your Son Jesus Christ,

that when he comes in glory to be our judge

we may be found undefiled and acceptable in his sight;

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.


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