In today’s Gospel, using the example of dietary laws, Our Lord is teaching us that the “Devil made me do it” as an argument has no merit. The problem of evil has plagued man and philosophy almost since Creation, and a trend has always tried to blame God or other things as the cause of sin when all man needed to do was look in the mirror. The Lord created everything good and for the good, but his creatures freely chose to do evil instead: the fallen angels, staring with the Devil, and humanity, starting with Adam and Eve. If the world is a mess it is because we, sinners, made it so.
The dietary laws in Jesus’ time believed certain foods brought ritual contamination and, therefore, defiled a man, Mark makes a point of saying in his account that Jesus is teaching that there are no ritually impure foods. It’s a teaching that even the first disciples would struggle with as they realized that Christianity was meant to go beyond the Jewish world and culture. The Original Sin of Adam and Eve robbed us of something we, their descendants, couldn’t do without, and it is only thanks to the Redemption that their sin didn’t condemn us all to spiritual death. However, Adam and Eve aren’t to blame for all of it: we too have sinned and continue to sin.
This sobering reality is not meant to discourage us; rather, it makes us realize that not only do we need Savior, but have one: Our Lord. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is also called Confession. Let’s come clean and confess what we’ve done so that Our Lord can heal and liberate us from the sin plaguing the world since the Fall.
Readings: 1 Kings 10:1–10; Psalm 37:5–6, 30–31, 39–40; Mark 7:14–23.