Friday, January 9, 2009
Overcoming traditional ways of doing things is often the hardest barrier to break. It is easy for us to get settled in the how we do things and easily lose sight of the why we do things. The ceremonial washing has nothing to do with hygene but with ceremonial cleansing -- washing the uncleanness of the world off of myself. Jesus message that it is not what you eat that defiles you has been interpreted by Christians (and the author of Mark) as negating the diatary restrictions of the Old Testament. It is not what you eat that defiles you it is what comes out of your inner most self that defiles you. Who are we in our inner selves? I believe we become what we fill our lives with and, under pressure, who we really are is revealed.Jesus heals the Syro-Phoencian woman's daughter (after she convinces him that she too can have faith) and we find another of our aramaic words and phrases "Ephphatha" at the end of the chapter. "be openened!""He has done all things well" probably is an allusion to the belief that when Messiah comes there were be certain signs and miracles -- the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, blind see, deaf hear, the poor have good news preached to them. For these folks Jesus is fulfilling all of those expecations.