were making a pilgrimage to venerate the relics of a great Saint. During
the course of their journey, they came to a river where they met a beautiful
young woman -- an apparently worldly creature, dressed in expensive finery
and with her hair done up in the latest fashion. She was afraid of the current
and afraid of ruining her lovely clothing, so asked the brothers if they
might carry her across the river.
The younger and more exacting of the brothers was offended at the very idea
and turned away with an attitude of disgust. The older brother didn't hesitate,
and quickly picked the woman up on his shoulders, carried her across the
river, and set her down on the other side. She thanked him and went on her
way, and the brother waded back through the waters.
The monks resumed their walk, the older one in perfect equanimity and enjoying
the beautiful countryside, while the younger one grew more and more brooding
and distracted, so much so that he could keep his silence no longer and suddenly
burst out, "Brother, we are taught to avoid contact with women, and there
you were, not just touching a woman, but carrying her on your
The older monk looked at the younger with a loving, pitiful smile and said,
"Brother, I set her down on the other side of the river; you are still carrying
And having called
together the multitudes unto him, He said to them: Hear ye and understand.
Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man: but what cometh out of
the mouth, this defileth a man.
Then came His disciples, and said to Him: Dost thou know that the Pharisees,
when they heard this word, were scandalized? But He answering them, said:
Every plant which My heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.
Let them alone: they are blind, and leaders of the blind. And if the blind
lead the blind, both will fall into the pit.
And Peter answering, said to Him: Expound to us this parable.
But He said: Are you also yet without understanding? Do you not understand,
that whatsoever entereth into the mouth, goeth into the belly, and is cast
out into the privy? But the things which proceed out of the mouth, come forth
from the heart, and those things defile a man. For from the heart come forth
evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false testimonies,
blasphemies. These are the things that defile a man. But to eat with unwashed
hands doth not defile a man.
Woe to you scribes
and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you tithe mint, and anise, and cummin,
and have left the weightier things of the law; judgment, and mercy, and faith.
These things you ought to have done, and not to leave those undone. Blind
guides, who strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel.
Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you make clean the
outside of the cup and of the dish, but within you are full of rapine and
uncleanness. Thou blind Pharisee, first make clean the inside of the cup
and of the dish, that the outside may become clean. Woe to you scribes and
Pharisees, hypocrites; because you are like to whited sepulchres, which outwardly
appear to men beautiful, but within are full of dead men's bones, and of
all filthiness. So you also outwardly indeed appear to men just; but inwardly
you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.