“What comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a man.”
– Matthew 15:18
The world is used to measuring up man by externals, and it is really tempting in church circles. We can be tempted to think others as ‘good’ because they serve at Mass, teach catechism, help distribute food for the poor, or read exceptionally well during the service. All these things are good, but what Jesus is getting at today is that we need to examine why we do them. They are all good things that can lead us toward religion (which is, to give God what is due to Him), but what the Pharisees have done, was to take these acts of piety and to use them to measure another’s faithfulness to God.
This attitude can be misleading, especially if modeled by parents, teachers, and church leaders, because it can leave a person thinking that is all they have to do. However, intentions matter. Considering why we do things is important. It reaches down deeper into our souls where compassion, understanding, gentleness and humility are waiting to accompany our exterior signs. Where our exterior motions of good deeds intersect and are animated by our love for God.
May God bless you!