What Defiles a Man
Reflection on the Gospel of the Wednesday In The Fifth Week Of Ordinary Time
Jesus said, “There is nothing outside a person, that by going in, can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.” As parents when our children go to school, we plan and prepare yummy tiffins, for them. At times we prepare things at night so that cooking is quick in the morning and our children get the best. We give them these tiffins so that they are not hungry and that they get their share of nourishment, required for the day. To all Christian parents, I have a question. What will our children benefit if we give them food that will only nourish their mortal bodies but not their souls? How will they survive the attacks of lust, sloth, anger, and greed that chokes the life out of them when they make wrong decisions due to the influence of media, society, and ideology which are contrary to Christian beliefs? Aren’t we giving them the wrong message and understanding, of giving importance to the needs of the flesh, when what really matters is the spiritual choices we make for life eternal with Jesus?
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, our children learn from our actions more than words. Today let us accept our failure to nourish ourselves spiritually as it is the only reason we have failed to guide our children. Let us concentrate on a routine and necessity of a rich breakfast of the Word of God, maybe also a good afternoon lunch of spiritual readings that deepen our faith, a perfect dinner on the life of saints and martyrs, and last but not least let them have a healthy snack of testimonies between meals. Second in line, be the Rich Testimony of Your Faith – in Jesus Christ, lived out in your houses, showing through your life, that Jesus’ words, ‘Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God,’ to be true . This is what is picked up by children. Consciously, make choices that show your dependency on Jesus. Avoid the fibbing on the phone, stop short when fear and anxiety come to you in their many forms – turn around and pray with your children right there and then, etc. This way you are teaching your children, God’s Word in important in ones life – not a maybe, relationship with Jesus is central – not a superficially kneeling and rattling of from prayer books, but a dependent, personal, and experiential relationship. Choose to give life to your children, by living out a life in God. That is the Truth and Reality that they need to be shown, and that is what they will copy in their own lives.
Lord thank you for our daily bread, both physical and spiritual. Help us to keep our thoughts and words pure and true by abiding in Your Word, living based on your promises in Your Word and be able to give glory to you with the living testimony of our own lives. Amen.