« It is a question of perspective… »
These words are sometimes spoken by someone who does not agree with a statement from somebody else.
That person does not want to express disapproval outright.
He, or she, does not want to manifest too bluntly a difference of opinion, or taste.
But, the person wants to distance him/herself from the affirmation heard.
It could be a temptation to react in this way to the texts of the gospel.
Jesus’ example invites us to a completely different attitude.
In the scene of this Sunday (22nd Sunday of Year B – Mc.7:1-8.14-15.21-23),
we see him responding with force to the Pharisees and scribes who challenge the attitude of his apostles.
What we see happening is, yes, a change of perspective, but much more than that.
Jesus leads them to change their focus from the following of traditions for traditions’ sake
to a genuine faithfulness to God’s message.
He calls his audience to move from appearances to the heart.
It is quite a change indeed!
Nowadays more than ever our society focuses on appearances.
‘Image-making’ has become an art and success in business, politics, entertainment, depends very much on this.
The gospel does NOT!
We are faced with the on-going challenge to move
- from the outward expressions to the inner reality,
- from what is manifest to what is hidden,
- from what is superficial to what lies in the depths of ourselves and others –
- the place where God is present and where our true self is being shaped by his Spirit…
“Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them,
but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them…
The things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.”
A change of perspective indeed!
Note: Another reflection is available in French on a different theme at: https://image-i-nations.com/22e-dimanche-de-lannee-b/
Source: Image: twitter.com