Wednesday, 13 February 2019 -
Wednesday of the Fifth week in Ordinary Time
Readings of day

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 7:14-23.

Jesus summoned the crowd again and said to them, "Hear me, all of you, and understand.
Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile."

When he got home away from the crowd his disciples questioned him about the parable.
He said to them, "Are even you likewise without understanding? Do you not realize that everything that goes into a person from outside cannot defile,
since it enters not the heart but the stomach and passes out into the latrine?" (Thus he declared all foods clean.)
But what comes out of a person, that is what defiles.
From within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder,
adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.
All these evils come from within and they defile."
Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB

Saint Bernard
"Create a pure heart within me, O God" (Ps 51:12)

Where is there safe rest for the weak except in the Savior's wounds? There the security of my dwelling depends on the greatness of his saving power. The world rages, the body oppresses, the devil lays his snares: I do not fall because I am founded on a rock… But as for me, whatever is lacking in my own resources I appropriate for myself from the heart of the Lord, which overflows with mercy. And there is no lack of clefts by which they are poured out. They pierced his hands and his feet, they gored his side with a lance (Jn 19:34), and through these fissures I can suck honey from the rock (Ps 80:17) and oil from the flinty stone, I can taste and see that the Lord is good (Ps 33:9). He was thinking thoughts of peace and I did not know it (cf Jer 29:11)… But the nail that pierced him has become for me a key unlocking the sight of the Lord's will. Why should I not gaze through the cleft? The nail cries out, the wound cries out that God is truly in Christ reconciling the world to himself (2 Cor 5:19). The iron pierced his soul and his heart has drawn near so that he is no longer one who cannot sympathize with my weaknesses (Heb 4:15). The secret of his heart is laid open through the clefts his body; that mighty mystery of loving is laid open, laid open too "the tender mercies of our God, in which the morning sun from on high has risen upon us" (Lk 1:78). Surely his heart is laid open through his wounds Where more clearly than in your wounds does the evidence shine that you, Lord, "are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love" (Ps 85:15)? For no one shows greater mercy than he who lays down his life for those who are judged and condemned (cf. Jn 15:13).

Sermons on the Song of Songs, no. 61, 3 (trans. © Cistercian publications Inc.)