Being clean from within

Keep the Christian Faith in entirety, do not be cafeteria Christians

Deuteronomy 4:1-2 “And now, Israel, listen to the laws and customs which I am teaching you today, so that, by observing them, you may survive to enter and take possession of the country which Yahweh, God of your ancestors, is giving you. You must add nothing to what I command you, and take nothing from it, but keep the commandments of Yahweh your God just as I lay them down for you.”

Throughout Salvation History, as we see from Sacred Scriptures, we are reminded by the Law and the Prophets, by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself and the Apostles, of the importance of keeping our Faith pure and intact, offering God a worship which is sincere and from the purity of our minds and hearts. If we refuse to keep the commandments of God which is integral in our relationship as His people, the consequences are we would end up becoming a people who are self-indulgent and living immoral lives filled with sins of all sorts. We see this from the Lord’s warning message to those who only pay lip service,

Isaiah 29:13-14 “The Lord then said: Because this people approaches me only in words, honours me only with lip-service while their hearts are far from me, and reverence for me, as far as they are concerned, is nothing but human commandment, a lesson memorised, very well, I shall have to go on astounding this people with prodigies and wonders: for the wisdom of its wise men is doomed, the understanding of any who understand will vanish.”

The worship of God, if done without sincerity. will be like that of the Sadducees and the Pharisees and their Scribes who do not understand the ways of God, but are more concerned with human customs and traditions than God’s commandments which is to love God and love all human beings. And so they are rebuked for their correction in

Matthew 23:25-26 “Alas for you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of cup and dish and leave the inside full of extortion and intemperance. Blind Pharisee! Clean the inside of cup and dish first so that it and the outside are both clean.”

 This also reminds everyone that it is keeping one’s heart and mind pure and sincere in loving God and fellow human beings (the cleaning the inside of cup and dish first) which is more important than the customs of the elders which include things like the exterior methods of washing cups and dishes, and washing one’s arms up to the elbows before eating a meal.

When we reflect on our own life and the lives of others, and the people throughout history, we see that evil arises from within the hearts of fallen humanity which is wounded by sin, as the Lord tells us in

Mark 7:21-23 “For it is from within, from the heart, that evil intentions emerge: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, malice, deceit, indecency, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within and make a person unclean.”

The Lord offers us a renewal, if we allow Him to change us from within, if we sincerely repent and confess our sins to Him through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. He gave us the Church, with the intention that we  cooperate with God’s grace to try not to sin again. As a people of God we constantly need His help, and we petition to Him often as in

Psalm 50(51):10-13 “God, create in me a clean heart, renew within me a resolute spirit, do not thrust me away from your presence, do not take away from me your spirit of holiness. Give me back the joy of your salvation, sustain in me a generous spirit. I shall teach the wicked your paths, and sinners will return to you.”

 It is a fact that we live in a world wounded by sin, but God offers us the renewal, for He desires us to be holy and good more than we desire it ourselves, as He tells us in

Ezekiel 36:25-27 “I shall pour clean water over you and you will be cleansed; I shall cleanse you of all your filth and of all your foul idols. I shall give you a new heart, and put a new spirit in you; I shall remove the heart of stone from your bodies and give you a heart of flesh instead. I shall put my spirit in you, and make you keep my laws, and respect and practice my judgments.”

The fact is God loves us and gave us the Sacred Scriptures and the Sacraments and the Magisterium of the Church for our good, to help us keep the Faith intact in its entirety, and as a People of God throughout the World, we are encouraged in

James 1:16-18 “Make no mistake about this, my dear brothers: all that is good, all that is perfect, is given us from above; it comes down from the Father of all light; with him there is no such thing as alteration, no shadow caused by change. By his own choice he gave birth to us by the message of the truth so that we should be a sort of first-fruits of all his creation.”

Let us continue to walk with the Lord and the People of God the Church, let us continue to trust in Him who gives us graces and blessings through the holy Mass and the Divine Office, the Bible and the Sacraments and Prayers of the Universal Church both on Earth and in Heaven.