Today’s Gospel is a continuation of yesterday’s passage where Jesus exposes the “tradition of the elders” as not aligned with God’s intent for the Law of Moses.
Where does evil come from and how can we eliminate it from our personal lives? Jesus points his listeners to the source of true defilement - evil desires which come from inside a person's innermost being. Sin does not just happen from external forces. It first springs from the innermost recesses of our thoughts and intentions, from the secret desires which only the individual mind and heart can conceive. When Cain became jealous of his brother Abel, God warned him to guard his own heart: "Sin is couching at the door; it's desire is for you, but you must master it" (Genesis 4:7). Cain unfortunately did not take God's warning to heart. He allowed his jealousy to grow into spite and hatred for his brother, and he began to look for an opportunity to eliminate his brother all together.
The Lord Jesus wants to set us free from the burden of guilt and from the destructive force of sin in our personal lives. He wants to purify our hearts and renew our minds so we can freely choose to love and do what is right, good, just, and wise. The Lord Jesus is ready to change and purify our hearts through the grace and help of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us. Like a physician who probes the wound before treating it, God through his Word and Spirit first brings sin into the light that we may recognize it for what it truly is and call upon his mercy and grace for pardon, healing, and restoration. The Spirit of truth is our Counselor and Helper. His power and grace enable us to choose what is good and to reject what is evil.
Today’s Question for Prayer and Reflection
Do you believe in the power of God's love to heal, change, and transform your heart and mind?