WHY DO WE DO WHAT WE DO?

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“Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile.” 


Mark 7:15

Conversely speaking, that which comes from within is what makes a person holy!

Often, we are more concerned about that which is on the outside than that which is on the inside. We often worry excessively about how we are perceived by others, how we look, or what our reputation is in the eyes of the world. This Gospel specifically addresses the charge of the Pharisees that eating certain foods defiles someone. Jesus isn’t buying that. He is pointing our attention to our hearts. What is there in our hearts? And what is it that comes forth from the heart? This is what makes us who we are.

Though this deals with the worries that certain foods will defile, it also deals with much more. It addresses the tendency of purely external observances of God’s law. Thus, it addresses the tendency of the Pharisees to be excessively worried about how they are perceived by others. Their external observance of the law reveals the fact that they seem to be overly concerned about what others think about them and what others say about them. They want to look holy. They want to look like they are beyond the smallest of indiscretions. But it’s all an appearance and not reality.

For that reason, Jesus puts the attention on the internal. God sees what is in our hearts. Even if no one else sees this we should never forget the fact that God sees all. That’s all that matters. That which is in our hearts can either do great damage to us or do great good. There are those who, in the public perception, are way off base. But from God’s perspective they are right on target. Conversely, there are those in public opinion who are shining stars, but from God’s perspective are way off base. There is only one thing that matters: What does God think?

Reflect, today, upon that which is inside your heart. This introspection should also challenge you to look at your motivations. Why do you do what you do and why do you make the decisions you make? Are they choices that come from an honest and sincere heart? Or are they choices that are based more on how you will be perceived? Hopefully your motives are pure. And hopefully those pure motives come from a heart that is deeply united to the heart of Christ.

Lord, please make my motives pure. Help me to live only out of a pure heart. Help me to always realize that holiness is found only in serving You and not in serving my public image. I love You my Lord. Jesus, I trust in You!

Reflection: A Compassionate Heart

Is there a difference between “sympathy” and “compassion?” If so, what is the difference? And which is more desirable? Sympathy simply means that we feel bad for another. It means, in a sense, that we pity them. But compassion goes much further. It means that we enter into their sufferings and carry their burden with them. It means we suffer with them just as our Lord suffered with and for us. We must only seek to offer true compassion for others and to invite them to offer compassion to us (See Diary #279).

How well do you do this? How well do you offer true compassion? Do you see the hurt of others and seek to be there for them, encouraging them in Christ? And when you suffer, do you allow the compassion of others to flood your soul? Do you allow the Mercy of God to reach out to you through them? Or do you seek only pity from others allowing yourself to fall into the trap of self-pity? Reflect upon the difference in these two qualities and ask our Lord to make your heart one of authentic compassion for all.

Lord, please do give me a heart full of Mercy and compassion. Help me to be attentive to the needs of others and to reach out to them with Your own Divine Heart. May I long to bring Your healing grace to all those in need. And may I never soak in my own self-pity or seek that pity from others. But may I be open to the compassion Your Heart desires to offer me through the love of others. Jesus, I trust in You..Amen!

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