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Having Real Heart

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tuesday of the Eighteenth Week in Ordinary Time

“Hear and understand. It is not what enters one’s mouth that defiles the man; but what comes out of the mouth is what defiles one.” (Matthew 15:11)

The context of Jesus’ words were in response to some Pharisees and scribes getting upset and questioning why Jesys’ followers did not abide by traditional purity codes and the many laws of the day that dictated what one could and could not do. They were focused on the external acts and more concerned about condemning others who were not following the letter of the law. By following rules, they reveled in feeling superior and morally righteous, even if their thoughts were hateful, uncaring and judgmental toward others.

Jesus’ responses and patterns throughout the New Testament suggest He was less concerned with external conformity to laws than He was about the state of one’s heart and internal motivations. He modeled living life in love and compassion because He lived in unity with our God of Love and Compassion. He knew that following rules did not equate with holiness. Transformation occurs from open and reflective hearts that allows divine love and mercy to heal and flow through them, and then the overflow of grace uplifts others as well. Our thoughts and words hold power, and our judgments can create heaven or hell for ourselves and others in the here and now.

Merciful God,

soften our hearts to align

with Your grace and mercy.

May our words and actions stem from Your loving presence.

Connie Sweatman, PsyD
Avera Medical Group Midwest Psychiatric Medicine, Sioux Falls

JEREMIAH 30:1-2, 12-15, 18-22 • PSALM 102:16-18, 19-21, 29 AND 22-23 • MATTHEW 14:22-36

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