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“Listen to me everyone and understand it well. No external thing that enters a man can stain him;

what makes him impure is what comes out of the man.

Because it is from within, from the hearts of men,

where do evil intentions come from, fornications, robberies, homicides, adulteries,

covetousness, wickedness, deceit, dishonesty, envy,

defamation, pride, folly.

All these bad things come from within

and they are the ones that stain man ”

(Mk 7, 1ff.)

We are faced with a passage from the Gospel of Mark in which it is surprising that Jesus uses two imperatives: listen to me and understand! ἀκούσατέ μου καὶ σύνετε.

When does a person use the imperative?

If Jesus uses it, it is because he had something to say that cannot fail to be heard and understood.

The verb ἀκούσατέ listen! It appears as an imperative 2 times in the Gospel of Matthew, 1 in Mark and 1 in Luke. As long as σύνετε understand! it is a hapax legomenon, that is, a word that is used only once in the gospels.

If the evangelists recall these two imperatives of Jesus and use them so categorically in this episode, it is because Jesus is telling us something very serious. And indeed, the discourse becomes serious in the face of the "effrontery" of the disciples of a teacher who is not careful about the uses and customs of the culture that have to be respected because it is tradition, nor is he careful that these norms are essential to give cohesion and order to society, andthe disciples do not wash, they do not perform ablutions.

But it is not a mere question of external cleanliness, which certainly does not concern everyone so much,No!, Because this is really a controversy, isn't this a rebellious teacher who breaks with the old traditions? Is it not thereby breaking the order stipulated since ancient times whose purpose is to maintain the order of the created and of society?

Yes actually! It is breaking with the traditions and the fundamental question that the consistent transmitters of the traditions ask is < διά > I mean, why? Why don't your disciples follow the traditions of the ancients?

The question is objective and does not allow one to imagine the immense possibility of meanings that can exist within it, such as: why don't you teach the traditions, why aren't you a good teacher, why aren't you one of us?

Jesus responds with a strong call to attention: "hypocrites", that is, repeaters of traditions without understanding, "theaters". The prophet Isaiah already said it about the people, they practically imitate but do not understand, they repeat gestures but do not understand, they move their lips and repeat prayers but they do not understand where the heart of God is and for this reason they are far from him.

That is the reason why Jesus calls the attention of the crowd and tells them: Listen to me, understand!

Then he responds and responds to everyone, not just his inquisitors: What is truly profane is not missing, in this case, the traditional ablutions handed down by the ancients, it is not not performing the external purification rites... what makes it truly profane or contaminates peopledo not understand the word of God with the soul, with the understanding, with the feelings, that is the heart in the Hebrew sense.

Jesus remembers that the important thing is to purify the soul because that is where all the evil comes from.

Lately we have heard an immense amount of news that tells us about the evil that is in the human heart, inside and outside the Church. We have probably felt outraged, ashamed, discouraged by so many scandals that are the result of the evil that comes from the soul, from the hearts of human beings. We are even shocked and rightly so.

Today the Lord Jesus prevails, if it could be said that way, and it calls our attention: listen to me and understand; both verbs to the present imperative remind us: because what comes out of man that is whatIt contaminates it, because bad thoughts, opinions and discussions come from the human heart.

The fundamental question is whether today we are truly in the school of the Master who invites us to continually confront him in order to purify our hearts each day of the evil that is born within us; The fundamental question is whether we are listening and understanding that purification begins with ourselves, from within, or if we are in the school of hypocrites who wear neat habits, hierarchical titles, or impeccable Christians, but inside we are corrupted and rotten.

I do not think that before this gospel there is room for any other request than to ask Jesus:

Deliver me Lord of the theater to believe me impeccable!

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