What goes into someone's mouth does not defile them..
Quote:What goes into someone's mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.

Hi all,

I'm curious about this saying of our Lord Jesus Christ.

From what I understand from this saying of His is that, the food that we eat, is not what hurts us, but the evil promptings, thoughts ( and actions which ensue ) of our depraved heart.

I am just wondering, is Jesus saying here that it's not what you eat that makes you unhealthy / ill, but the evil thoughts that you harbor or think?

I am curious about this also because, the western Christian tradition appears to lack a holistic approach to health. We can see in most other cultures, especially in China, and India ( Ayurveda ), they have an ancient system of healthcare which covers the body, mind and spirit. 

However in Christianity we never hear about the care of the body really, or what effects food have on the health etc. unlike Ayurveda say, which attempt to describe how the subtle essences of organic material effects the body, and spirit. 

I understand we have our western science based medical system, but the majority of the current thinking behind this system is rather limited, it only deals with the physical and empirically verifiable. It does not attempt to address how spiritual things could be affecting the health of body ( such as sin ).

I am just wondering if all this relates to this saying of Jesus, can we say that if we become pure in heart, we would also become much healthier in our body for example?

Is our health less dependent on what we eat ( the modern notion ), and more on what evil thoughts we allow to govern us that arise from the 'heart'?

This brings me to an to another question, what exactly is the relationship between Sin, and our well-being, physically, and mentally?
Is it a one to one relationship, that is, is an illness, mental or physical always related to a sin, someone ( or other, or nation ) committed? 
Or is some of our illnesses simply 'accidental' so to say, simply because we fell in the first place, and has no relation to a particular sin ( other than that of Adam and Eve )?
I will just add here also, what is the relationship with Gods wrath and illness?

I understand God would never inflict pain or suffering willingly on His creatures, just curious what the relationship is between God's wrath, illness and sin?

Many thanks,
It's pretty simple that this is not about health. If you read the whole section of Matthew 15 (and Mark 7), the meaning is quite clear:

Quote:1 After this, Jesus was approached by the scribes and Pharisees from Jerusalem, who asked:
2 Why is it that thy disciples violate the traditions of our ancestors? They do not wash their hands when they eat.
3 He answered them, Why is it that you yourselves violate the commandment of God with your traditions?
4 God has said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and again, He who curses his father or mother dies without hope of reprieve.✻
5 Whereas you say, If a man says to his father or mother, The offering which I make to God is all the advantage you will have from me,✻
6 then father or mother can get no service from him. So by these traditions of yours you have made God’s law ineffectual.
7 You hypocrites, it was a true prophecy Isaias made of you, when he said,
8 This people does me honour with its lips, but its heart is far from me.✻
9 Their worship of me is vain, for the doctrines they teach are the commandments of men.
10 Then he gathered the multitude about him, and said to them, Listen to this, and grasp what it means.
11 It is not what goes into a man’s mouth that makes him unclean; what makes a man unclean is what comes out of his mouth.
12 Thereupon his disciples came and said to him, Dost thou know that the Pharisees, when they heard thy saying, took it amiss?
13 He answered, No plant but must be rooted up, if my heavenly Father has not planted it.
14 Let them say what they will; they are blind men leading the blind, and when one blind man leads another, they will fall into the ditch together.
15 Peter answered him, Explain this parable to us.
16 What, he said, are you still without wits?
17 Do you not observe that any uncleanness which finds its way into a man’s mouth travels down into his belly, and so is cast into the sewer;
18 whereas all that comes out of his mouth comes from the heart, and it is that which makes a man unclean?
19 It is from the heart that his wicked designs come, his sins of murder, adultery, fornication, theft, perjury and blasphemy.
20 It is these make a man unclean; he is not made unclean by eating without washing his hands.
Blood of Christ, relief of the burdened, save us.

“It is my design to die in the brew house; let ale be placed in my mouth when I am expiring, that when the choirs of angels come, they may say, “Be God propitious to this drinker.” – St. Columbanus, A.D. 612
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I think the meaning in many passages in the Bible are never 'quite clear', and have many levels of meaning, and interpretation.

I actually don't really understand this passage ( I don't have much Biblical knowledge), apart from Jesus declaring that the Pharisees have it all wrong, and backwards. 

I would argue though that this passage has to do with health, as does all of Jesus's ministry, He heals all kinds of illness, physical, mental, spiritual.

Jesus want's us to be 'clean', Holy, whole, healthy, free from uncleanliness, sin, which causes disease, suffering and death. 

Jesus appears to be saying in this passage, correct me if I'm wrong, that you have understood incorrectly that those things that you eat, or to eat without washing hands (which today we associate with doing to ensure we don't get sick), is what will make you unclean ( causing you to sin, and open yourself to disease and suffering ), but rather the evil that comes from your heart which makes you unclean and to sin, to bring upon you disease, suffering and death.
(01-26-2018, 09:16 AM)Sephero Wrote: Jesus appears to be saying in this passage, correct me if I'm wrong, that you have understood incorrectly that those things that you eat, or to eat without washing hands (which today we associate with doing to ensure we don't get sick), is what will make you unclean ( causing you to sin, and open yourself to disease and suffering ), but rather the evil that comes from your heart which makes you unclean and to sin, to bring upon you disease, suffering and death.

Jesus isn't talking about physical health here, although I suppose it's possible that He said this knowing that 2000 years later, once we've learned about germs, we'd interpret it that way, too. The Pharisees had all sorts of rules about all the little rituals Jews were supposed to do, very few of which were commanded by God, but were man's interpretation of the Law. And they insisted that anyone that didn't follow their rules was a sinner. But, as we often read throughout the Gospel, they were often hypocrites, acting pious while not truly loving God, and ultimately showing their faithlessness by rejecting God's Son and having Him crucified.

It's about hypocrisy, observing man's rules while lacking in love of God and neighbour - and it isn't unknown among Catholics, either. "You pray/don't pray the Luminous Mysteries, so you're not a real Catholic." Jesus isn't telling us that man's rules are to be completely rejected, as He also said to do what the Pharisees say, but not what they do, and, more importantly for Catholics, He gave the popes authority to bind and loose. Like much in Scripture, it's complicated, and shows us why trying to interpret it on our own leads to error, and why it always has to be done with the Church's teaching in mind. If you're going to Mass on Ascension Thursday, when the obligation's been moved to Sunday, and you're condemning other Catholics for not going, and you're going just to be seen as pious, but you lack charity towards others, that's the sort of thing condemned here. That doesn't mean Holy Days of Obligation are just a tradition of man we should do away with.
I'll just paste from Canena Aurea, as the Church Fathers explain it best and very in depth (warning, quite long):

Quote:1. Then came to Jesus Scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying,
2. “Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.”
3. But he answered and said unto them, “Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
4. For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.
5. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;
6. And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.”

Quote:Raban.: The men of Gennezareth and the less learned believe; but they who seem to be wise come to dispute with Him; according to that, “Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” Whence it is said, “Then, came to him from Jerusalem Scribes and Pharisee.”

Aug., de Cons. Ev., ii, 49: The Evangelist thus constructs the order of his narrative, “Then came unto him,” that, as appeared in the passage over the lake, the order of the events that followed that might be shewn.

Chrys.: For this reason also the Evangelist marks the time that He may shew their [p. 549] iniquity overcome by nothing; for they came to Him at a time when He had wrought many miracles, when He had healed the sick by the touch of His hem. That the Scribes and Pharisees are here said to have come from Jerusalem, it should be known that they were dispersed through all the tribes, but those that dwelt in the Metropolis were worse than the others, their higher dignity inspiring them with a greater degree of pride.

Remig.: They were faulty for two reasons; because they had come from Jerusalem, from the holy city; and because they were elders of the people, and doctors of the Law, and had not come to learn but to reprove the Lord; for it is added, “Saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders?”

Jerome: wonderful infatuation of the Pharisees and Scribes! They accuse the Son of God that He does not keep the traditions and commandments of men.

Chrys.: Observe, how they are taken in their own question. They say not, ‘Why do they transgress the Law of Moses?’ but, “the tradition of the elders;” whence it is manifest that the Priests had introduced many new things, although Moses had said, “Ye shall not add ought to the word which I set before you this day, neither shall ye take ought away from it;” [Deut 4:2] and when they ought to have been set free from observances, then they bound themselves by many more; fearing lest any should take away their rule and power, they sought to increase the awe in which they were held, by setting themselves forth as legislators.

Remig.: Of what kind these traditions were, Mark shews when he says, “The Pharisees and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not.” [Mark 7:3] Here then also they find fault with the disciples, saying, “For they wash not their hands when they eat bread.”

Bede, in Marc., 7, 1: Taking carnally those words of the Prophets, in which it is said, “Wash, and be ye clean,” [Isa 1:16] they observed it only in washing the body; hence they had laid it down that we ought not to eat with unwashen hands.

Jerome: But the hands that are to he washed are the acts not of the body, but of the mind; that the word of God may be done in them.

Chrys.: But the disciples now did not eat, with washen hands, because they already despised all things superfluous, and attended only to such as were necessary; thus they accepted neither washing nor not washing as a [p. 550] rule, but did either as it happened. For how should they who even neglected the food that was necessary for them, have any care about this rite?

Remig.: Or the Pharisees found fault with the Lord’s disciples, not concerning that washing which we do from ordinary habit, and of necessity, but of that superfluous washing which was invented by the tradition of the elders.

Chrys.: Christ made no excuse for them, but immediately brought a counter charge, shewing that he that sins in great things ought not to take offence at the slight sins of others.

“He answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition?”

He says not that they do well to transgress that He may not give room for calumny; nor on the other hand does He condemn what the Apostles had done, that He may not sanction their traditions; nor again does He bring any charge directly against them of old, that they might not put Him from them as a calumniator; but He points His reproof against those who had come to Him; thus at the same time touching the elders who had laid down such a tradition; saying,

Jerome: Since ye because of the tradition of men neglect the commandment of God, why do ye take upon you to reprove my disciples, for bestowing little regard upon the precepts of the elders, that they may observe the commands of God?

“For God hath said, Honour thy father and thy mother.” Honour in the Scriptures is shewn not so much in salutations and courtesies as in alms and gifts. “Honour,” says the Apostle, “the widows who are widows indeed;” [1 Tim 5:3] here ‘honour’ signifies a gift.

The Lord then having thought for the infirmity, the age, or the poverty of parents, commanded that sons should honour their parents in providing them with necessaries of life.

Chrys.: He desired to shew the great honour that ought to be paid to parents, and therefore attached both a reward and a penalty. But in this occasion the Lord passes over the reward promised to such as did honour their parents, namely, that they should live long upon the earth, and brings forward the terrible part only, namely, the punishment, that He might strike these dumb and attract others; “And he that, curseth father and mother, let him die the death;” thus He shews that they deserved even death. For if he who dishonours his parent [p. 551] even in word is worthy of death, much more ye who dishonour him in deed; and ye not only dishonour your parents, but teach others to do so likewise. Ye then who do not deserve even to live, how accuse ye my disciples? But how they transgress the commandment of God is clear when He adds, “But ye say, Whoso shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me.”

Jerome: For the Scribes and Pharisees desiring to overturn this foregoing most provident law of God, that they might bring in their impiety under the mask of piety, taught bad sons, that should any desire to devote to God, who is the true parent, those things which ought to be offered to parents, the offering to the Lord should be preferred to the offering them to parents.

Gloss, ap. Anselm: In this interpretation the sense will be, What I offer to God will profit both you and myself; and therefore you ought not to take of my goods for your own needs, but to suffer that I offer them to God.

Jerome: And thus the parents refusing what they saw thus dedicated to God, that they might not incur the guilt of sacrilege, perished of want, and so it came to pass that what the children offered for the needs of the temple and the service of God, went to the gain of the Priests.

Gloss, ap. Anselm: Or the sense may be, “Whosoever,” that is, of you young men, “shall say,” that is, shall either be able to say, or shall say, “to his father or mother,” O father, the gift that is of me devoted to God, shall it profit thee? as it were an exclamation of surprise; you ought not to take it that you may not incur the guilt of sacrilege.

Or, we may read it with this ellipsis, “Whosoever shall say to his father, &c.” he shall do the commandment of God, or shall fulfil the Law, or shall be worthy of life eternal.

Jerome: Or it may briefly have the following sense; Ye compel children to say to their parents, What gift soever I was purposing to offer to God, you take and consume upon your living, and so it profits you; as much as to say. Do not so.

Gloss., ap. Anselm: And thus through these arguments of your avarice, this youth shall “Honour not his father or his mother.” As if He had said; Ye have led sons into most evil deeds; so that it will come to pass that afterwards they shall not even honour their father and mother. And thus ye have made the commandment of God concerning the [p. 552] support of parents by their children vain through your traditions, obeying the dictates of avarice.

Aug., cont. Adv. Leg. et Proph., ii, 1: Christ here clearly shews both that that law which the heretic blasphemes is God’s law, and that the Jews had their traditions foreign to the prophetical and canonical books; such as the Apostle calls “profane and vain fables.”

Aug., cont. Faust., xvi, 24: The Lord here teaches us many things; That it was not He that turned the Jews from their God; that not only did He not infringe the commandments, but convicts them of infringing them; and that He had ordained no more than those by the hand of Moses.

Aug., Quaest. Ev., i, 16: Otherwise; “The gift whatsoever thou offerest on my account, shall profit thee;” that is to say, Whatsoever gift thou offerest on my account, shall henceforth remain with thee; the son signifying by these words that there is no longer need that parents should offer for him, as he is of age to offer for himself. And those who were of age to be able to say thus to their parents, the Pharisees denied that they were guilty, if they did not shew honour to their parents.

Quote:7. “Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
8. This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
9. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”
10. And he called the multitude, and said unto them, “Hear, and understand:
11. Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.”

Quote:Chrys.: The Lord had shewn that the Pharisees were not worthy to accuse those who transgressed the commands of the elders, seeing they overthrew the law of God themselves; and He again proves this by the testimony of the Prophet; “Hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This [p. 553] people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far frost me.”

Remig.: Hypocrite signifies dissembler, one who feigns one thing in his outward act, and bears another thing in his heart. These then are well called hypocrites because under cover of God’s honour they sought to heap up for themselves earthly gain.

Raban.: Esaias saw before the hypocrisy of the Jews, that they would craftily oppose the Gospel, and therefore he said in the person of the Lord, “This people honoureth me with their lips, &c.”

Remig.: For the Jewish nation seemed to draw near to God with their lips and mouth, inasmuch as they boasted that they held the worship of the One God; but in their hearts they departed from Him, because after they had seen His signs and miracles, they would neither acknowledge His divinity, nor receive Him.

Raban.: Also, they honoured Him with their lips when they said, “Master, we know that thou art true,” [Matt 22:16] but their heart was far from Him when they sent spies to entangle Him in His talk.

Gloss, ap. Anselm: Or, They honoured Him in commending outward purity; but in that they lacked the inward which is the true purity, their heart was far from God, and such honour was of no avail to them; as it follows, “But without reason do they worship me, teaching doctrines and commandments of men.”

Raban.: Therefore they shall not have their reward with the true worshippers, because they teach doctrines and commandments of men to the contempt of the law of God.

Chrys.: Having added weight to His accusation of the Pharisees by the testimony of the Prophet, and not having amended them, He now ceases to speak to them, and turns to the multitudes, “And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear and understand.” Because He was about to set before them a high dogma, and full of much philosophy, He does not utter it nakedly, but so frames His speech that it should be received by them.

First, by exhibiting anxiety on their account, which the Evangelist expresses by the words, “And he called the multitude to him.”

Secondly, the time He chooses recommends His speech; after the victory He has just gained over the Pharisees. And He not merely calls the multitude to Him, [p. 554] but rouses their attention by the words, “Hear and understand;” that is, Attend, and give your minds to what ye are to hear. But He said not unto them, The observance of meats is nought; nor, Moses bade you wrongly; but in the way of warning and advice, drawing His testimony from natural things; “Not what entereth in at the mouth defileth a man, but what goeth forth of the mouth that defileth a man.”

Jerome: The word here [ed. note: Jerome reads ‘communicat.’ The Vulgate has, coinquinat] ‘makes a man common’ is peculiar to Scripture, and is not hackneyed in common parlance. The Jewish nation, boasting themselves to be a part of God, call those meats common, of which all men partake; for example, swine’s flesh, shell fish, hares, and those species of animals that do not divide the hoof, and chew the cud, and among the fish such as have not scales. Hence in the Acts of the Apostles we read, “What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” [Acts 10:15] Common then in this sense is that which is free to the rest of mankind, and as though not in part of God, is therefore called unclean.

Aug., cont. Faust., vi, 6: This declaration of the Lord, “Not that which, entereth into the mouth defileth a man,” is not contrary to the Old Testament. As the Apostle also speaks, “To the pure all things are pure;” [Tit 1:15] and “Every creature of God is good.” [1 Tim 4:4]

Let the Manichaeans understand, if they can, that the Apostle said this of the very natures and qualities of things; while that letter (of the ritual law) declared certain animals unclean, not in their nature but typically, for certain figures which were needed for a time. Therefore to take an instance in the swine and the lamb, by nature both are clean, because naturally every creature of God is good; but in a certain typical meaning the lamb is clean, and the swine unclean.

Take the two words, ‘fool,’ and ‘wise,’ in their own nature, as sounds, or letters, both of them are pure, but one of them because of the meaning attached to it, not because of any thing in its own nature, may be said to be impure. And perhaps what the swine are in typical representation, that among mankind is the fool; and the animal, and this word of two syllables (stultus) signify some [p. 555] one and the same thing. That animal is reckoned unclean in the law because it does not chew the cud; but this is not its fault but its nature. But the men of whom this animal is the emblem, are impure by their own fault, not by nature; they readily hear the words of wisdom, but never think upon them again.

Whatever of profit you may hear, to summon this up from the internal region of the memory through the sweetness of recollection into the mouth of thought, what is this but spiritually to chew the cud? They who do not this are represented by this species of animal. Such resemblances as these in speech, or in ceremonies, having figurative signification, profitably and pleasantly move the rational mind; but by the former people, many such things were not only to be heard, but to be kept as precepts. For that was a time when it behoved not in words only, but in deeds, to prophesy those things which hereafter were to be revealed. When these had been revealed through Christ, and in Christ, the burdens of observances were not imposed on the faith of the Gentiles; but the authority of the prophecy was yet confirmed.

But I ask of the Manichaeans, whether this declaration of the Lord, when He said that a man is not defiled by what enters into his mouth, is true or false? If false, why then does their doctor Adimantus bring it forward against the Old Testament? If true, why contrary to its tenor do they consider that they are thus defiled?

Jerome: The thoughtful reader may here object and say, If that which entereth into the mouth defileth not a man, why do we not feed on meats offered to idols? Be it known then that meats and every creature of God is in itself clean; but the invocation of idols and daemons makes them unclean with those at least who with conscience of the idol eat that which is offered to idols; and their conscience being weak is polluted, as the Apostle says.

Remig.: But if any one’s faith be so strong that he understands that God’s creature can in no way be defiled, let him eat what he will, after the food has been hallowed by the word of God and of prayer; yet so that this his liberty be not made an offence to the weak, as the Apostle speaks.
Quote:12. When came his disciples, and said unto him, “Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?”
13. But he answered and said, “Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.
14. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”
Quote:Jerome: In one of the Lord’s discourses the whole superstition of Jewish observances had been cut down. They placed their whole religion in using or abstaining from certain meats.

Chrys.: When the Pharisees heard the things that went before, they made no reply to them, because He had so mightily overthrown them, not only refuting their arguments, but detecting their fraud, but they, not the multitudes, were offended at them.

“Then came his disciples unto him and said, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended after they heard this saying?”

Jerome: As this word ‘scandalum’ (offence or stumblingblock) is of such frequent use in ecclesiastical writings, we will shortly explain it. We might render it in Latin, ‘offendiculum,’ or ‘ruina,’ or ‘impactio;’ and so when we read, Whosoever shall scandalize, we understand, whoso by word or deed has given an occasion of falling to any.

Chrys.: Christ does not remove the stumblingblock out of the way of the Pharisees, but rather rebukes them; as it follows, “But he answered and said, Every plant which my heavenly Father has not planted shall be rooted up.”

This Manichaeus affirmed was spoken of the Law, but what has been already said is a sufficient refutation of this. For if He had said this of the Law, how would He have above contended for the Law, saying, “Why transgress ye the commandment of God through your tradition?”

Or would He have cited the Prophet? Or how, if God said, “Honour thy father and thy mother,” is not this, being spoken in the Law, a plant of God?

Hilary: What He intends then by a plant not planted of His Father, is that tradition of men under cover [p. 557] of which the Law had been transgressed, this He instructs them must be rooted up.

Remig.: Every false doctrine and superstitious observance with the workers thereof cannot endure; and because it is not from God the Father, it shall be rooted up with the same. And that only shall endure which is of God.

Jerome: Shall that plant also be rooted up of which the Apostle says, “I planted, Apollos watered?” [1 Cor 3:6] The question is answered by what follows, “but God gave the increase.” He says also, “Ye are God’s husbandry, a building of God;” and in another place, “We are workers together of God.” And if when Paul plants, and Apollos waters, they are in so doing workers together with God, then God plants and waters together with them.

This passage is abused by some who apply it at once to two different kinds of men; they say, ‘If every plant which the Father hath not planted shall be rooted up, then that which He has planted cannot be rooted up.’ But let them hear these words of Jeremiah, “I had planted thee a true vine, wholly a right seed, how then art thou turned into the bitterness of a strange vine?” [Jer 2:21]

God indeed has planted it, and none may root up His planting. But since that planting was through the disposition of the will of him which was planted, none other can root it up unless its own will consents thereto.

Gloss. interlin.: Or, the plant here spoken of may be the doctors of the Law with their followers, who had not Christ for their foundation. Why they are to be rooted up, He adds, “Let them alone; they are blind, leaders of the blind.”

Raban.: They are blind, that is, they want the light of God’s commandments; and they are “leaders of the blind,” inasmuch as they draw others headlong, erring, and leading into error; whence it is added, “If the blind lead the blind, they both fall into the ditch.”

Jerome: This is also the same as that Apostolic injunction, “A heretic after the first and second admonition reject, knowing that such a one is perverse.” [Tit 3:11-11] To the same end the Saviour commands evil teachers to be left to their own will, knowing that it is hardly that they can be brought to the truth.

Quote:15. Then answered Peter and said unto him, “Declare unto us this parable.” [p. 558]
16. And Jesus said, “Are ye also yet without understanding?
17. Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?
18. But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
19. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
20. These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.”

Quote:Remig.: The Lord was used to speak in parables, so that Peter when he heard, “That which entereth into the mouth, defileth not a man,” thought it was spoken as a parable, and asked, as it follows; “Then answered Peter, and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable.” And because he asked this on behalf of the rest, they are all included in the rebuke, “But he said, Are ye also yet without understanding?”

Jerome: He is reproved by the Lord, because He supposed that to be spoken parabolically, which was indeed spoken plainly. Which teaches us that the hearer is to be blamed who would take dark sayings as clear, or clear sayings as obscure.

Chrys.: Or, The Lord blames him, because it was not from any uncertainty that he asked this, but from offence which he had taken. The multitudes had not understood what had been said; but the disciples were offended at it, whence at the first they had desired to ask Him concerning the Pharisees, but had been stayed by that mighty declaration, “Every plant, &c.”

But Peter, who is ever zealous, is not silent even so; therefore the Lord reproves him, adding a reason for His reproof, “Do ye not understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?”

Jerome: Some cavil at this, that the Lord is ignorant of physical disputation in saying that all food goes into the belly, and is cast out into the draught; [p. 559] for that the food, as soon as it is taken, is distributed through the limbs, the veins, the marrow, and the nerves. But it should be known, that the lighter juices, and liquid food after it has been reduced and digested in the veins and vessels, passes into the lower parts through those passages which the Greeks call ‘pores,’ and so goes into the draught.

Aug., de Vera Relig., 40: The nourishment of the body being first changed into corruption, that is, having lost its proper form, is absorbed into the substance of the limbs, and repairs their waste, passing through a medium into another form, and by the spontaneous motion of the parts is so separated, that such portions as are adapted for the purpose are taken up into the structure of this fair visible, while such as are unfit are rejected through their own passages. One part consisting of faeces is restored to earth to reappear again in new forms; another part goes off in perspiration; and another is taken up by the nervous system for the purposes of reproduction of the species.

Chrys.: But the Lord in thus speaking answers His disciples after Jewish infirmity; He says that the food does not abide, but goes out; but if it did abide, yet would it not make a man unclean. But they could not yet hear these things. Thus Moses also pronounces that they continued unclean, so long as the food continued in them; for he bids them wash in the evening, and then they should be clean; calculating the time of digestion and egestion.

Aug., de Trin., xv, 10: And the Lord includes herein man’s two mouths, one of the body, one of the heart. For when He says, “Not all that goeth into the mouth defileth a man,” He clearly speaks of the body’s mouth; but in that which follows, He alludes to the mouth of the heart; “But those things which proceed out of the mouth, come forth from the heart, and they defile a man.”

Chrys.: For the things which are of the heart, remain within a man, and defile him in going out of him, as well as in abiding in him; yea, more in going out of him; wherefore He adds, “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts;” He gives these the first place, because this was the very fault of the Jews, who laid snares for Him.

Jerome: The principle therefore of the soul is not according to Plato in the brain, but according to Christ in the heart, and by this passage we may refute [p. 560] those who think that evil thoughts are suggestions of the Devil, and do not spring from our proper will. The Devil may encourage and abet evil thoughts, but not originate them. And if he be able, being always on the watch, to blow into flame any small spark of thought in us, we should not thence conclude that he searches the hidden places of the heart, but that from our manner and motions he judges of what is passing within us.

For instance, if he see us direct frequent looks towards a fair woman, he understands that our heart is wounded through the eye.

Gloss., non occ.: And from evil thoughts proceed evil deeds and evil words, which are forbidden by the law; whence He adds “Murders,” which are forbidden by that commandment of the Law, “Thou shalt not kill;” “Adulteries, fornications,” which are understood to be forbidden by that precept, “Thou, shalt not commit adultery;” “Thefts,” forbidden by the command, “Thou shalt not steal;” “False witness,” by that, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour;” “Blasphemies,” by that, “Thou shalt not take the name of God in vain.”

Remig.: Having named the vices which are forbidden by the divine Law, the Lord beautifully adds, “These are they that defile a man,” that is, make him unclean and impure.

Gloss., non occ.: And because these words of the Lord had been occasioned by the iniquity of the Pharisees, who preferred their traditions to the commands of God, He hence concludes that there was no necessity for the foregoing tradition, “But to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.”

Chrys.: He said not that to eat the meats forbidden in the Law defiles not a man, that they might not have what to answer to Him again; but He concludes in that concerning which the disputation had been.
Blood of Christ, relief of the burdened, save us.

“It is my design to die in the brew house; let ale be placed in my mouth when I am expiring, that when the choirs of angels come, they may say, “Be God propitious to this drinker.” – St. Columbanus, A.D. 612

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