Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio, Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature, Wednesday 12 February 2020
Gospel: Mark 7:14-23
Jesus helps the people and the disciples to understand better the significance of purity before God. For centuries, the Jews, in order not to contract impurity, observed many norms and customs bound to food, to drink, to dress, to hygiene of the body, to contact with persons of other races and religions, etc.…
For them it was forbidden to have contact with gentiles and to eat with them. The attitude of Jesus, described in today’s Gospel, helps us to overcome this problem.
Jesus overturns things: what is impure does not come from outside to the inside, as the Pharisees taught, but what comes from inside to the outside. Jesus opens a new way to reach God, and in this way realizes the most profound design of the people.
In the explanation to the disciples, Jesus goes to the very bottom of the question of impurity. What makes one become impure, according to Jesus, is what comes out from within the heart to poison human relationships. Thus, in many ways, Jesus helps people to attain purity in another way. By means of the word: He purified the lepers, cast out unclean spirits, and overcame death, which was the source of all impurity. Without fear of being contaminated, Jesus eats together with people who were considered impure.
Now, all of a sudden, everything changes! Through faith in Jesus, it was possible to have purity and to feel good before God Jesus gives back the desire to live, and the joy of being children of God, without fear of being happy!