Mark 7:14-15 NRSVue

14Then he called the crowd again and said to them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: 15there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.”

Some thoughts on this scripture

This was revolutionary stuff. The Maccabees had suffered torture and death rather than eat the flesh of pigs. St Peter needed a vision (you remember the sheet holding all sorts of unclean reptiles and mammals) to persuade him to associate with gentiles. Jesus was wiping out at one stroke the laws for which Jews had suffered and died. He pushes us to look inside. What can defile a person? The heart's evil intentions: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit and so on. Remember Belloc? I said to Heart, /How goes it?/ Heart replied: /Right as a Ribstone Pippin!/ but it lied.