1 Kings 10:1-10 / Mark 7:14-23
One of the basic needs of mankind is food. In fact, it may even be the most fundamental need of all creatures.
Flowing from that need, food has also become a sign of communion. Hence, there are such things like communion sacrifices or ritual food.
Our partaking of Holy Communion is a profound example of a communion sacrifice and a ritual food in which we come into communion with the Lord Jesus.
But many religions also have dietary laws in which some types of food are forbidden and hence, would render a practitioner of a particular religion ritually unclean.
This was the context of the discussion about food in today's gospel. Yet Jesus also made a very radical teaching about food.
He pronounced all foods clean. He also pointed out that what is really unclean is actually what comes out from the heart.
As Jesus said, it is from within, from men's hearts, that evil intentions emerge: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, malice, deceit, indecency, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within and make a man unclean.
As we participate in the Eucharist, we also prepare ourselves to come into communion with Jesus.
So what is the state of our hearts? If there is sin, have we gone for the Sacrament of Reconciliation so as to receive forgiveness and healing and be in a state of grace to receive Jesus the Lord.
Let us remember that God and sin cannot exist together in our hearts.
We come to the Eucharist not just to consume a piece of wafer but to receive the Lord Jesus. May our hearts be pure so that our lives will be holy.