Section 1, Chapter 16
Christ reproves the Scribes. He cures the daughter of the woman of Canaan: and many others: and feeds four thousand with seven loaves.
15:1. Then came to him from Jerusalem scribes and Pharisees, saying:
15:2. Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the ancients? For they wash not their hands when they eat bread.
15:3. But he answering, said to them: Why do you also transgress the commandment of God for your tradition? For God said:
15:4. Honour thy father and mother: And: He that shall curse father or mother, let him die the death.
15:5. But you say: Whosoever shall say to father or mother, The gift whatsoever proceedeth from me, shall profit thee.
The gift, etc. . .That is, the offering that I shall make to God, shall be instead of that which should be expended for thy profit. This tradition of the Pharisees was calculated to enrich themselves; by exempting children from giving any further assistance to their parents, if they once offered to the temple and the priests, that which should have been the support of their parents. But this was a violation of the law of God, and of nature, which our Saviour here condemns.
15:6. And he shall not honour his father or his mother: and you have made void the commandment of God for your tradition.
15:7. Hypocrites, well hath Isaias prophesied of you, saying:
15:8. This people honoureth me with their lips: but their heart is far from me.
15:9. And in vain do they worship me, teaching doctrines and commandments of men.
Commandments of men. . .The doctrines and commandments here reprehended are such as are either contrary to the law of God, (as that of neglecting parents, under pretence of giving to God,) or at least are frivolous, unprofitable, and no ways conducing to true piety, as that of often washing hands, etc., without regard to the purity of the heart. But as to the rules and ordinances of the holy church, touching fasts, festivals, etc., these are no ways repugnant to, but highly agreeable to God's holy word, and all Christian piety: neither are they to be counted among the doctrines and commandments of men; because they proceed not from mere human authority; but from that which Christ has established in his church; whose pastors he has commanded us to hear and obey, even as himself. St. Luke 10. 16; St. Matt. 18. 17.
15:10. And having called together the multitudes unto him, he said to them: Hear ye and understand.
15:11. Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man: but what cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.
Not that which goeth into, etc. . .No uncleanness in meat, nor any dirt contracted by eating it with unwashed hands, can defile the soul: but sin alone; or a disobedience of the heart to the ordinance and will of God. And thus when Adam took the forbidden fruit, it was not the apple, which entered into the mouth, but the disobedience to the law of God which defiled him. The same is to be said if a Jew, in the time of the old law, had eaten swine's flesh; or a Christian convert, in the days of the apostles, contrary to their ordinance, had eaten blood; or if any of the faithful at present should transgress the ordinance of God's church, by breaking the fasts: for in all these cases the soul would be defiled; not indeed by that which goeth into the mouth; but by the disobedience of the heart, in wilfully transgressing the ordinance of God, or of those who have their authority from him.
15:12. Then came his disciples, and said to him: Dost thou know that the Pharisees, when they heard this word, were scandalized?
15:13. But he answering, said: Every plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.
15:14. Let them alone: they are blind, and leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both fall into the pit.
15:15. And Peter answering, said to him: Expound to us this parable.
15:16. But he said: Are you also yet without understanding?
15:17. Do you not understand, that whatsoever entereth into the mouth, goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the privy?
15:18. But the things which proceed out of the mouth, come forth from the heart, and those things defile a man.
15:19. For from the heart come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies.
15:20. These are the things that defile a man. But to eat with unwashed hands doth not defile a man.
15:21. And Jesus went from thence, and retired into the coast of Tyre and Sidon.
15:22. And behold a woman of Canaan who came out of those coasts, crying out, said to him: Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David: my daughter is grievously troubled by a devil.
15:23. Who answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying: Send her away, for she crieth after us:
15:24. And he answering, said: I was not sent but to the sheep, that are lost of the house of Israel.
15:25. But she came and adored him, saying: Lord, help me.
15:26. Who answering, said: It is not good to take the bread of the children, and to cast it to the dogs.
15:27. But she said: Yea, Lord; for the whelps also eat of the crumbs that fall from the table of their masters.
15:28. Then Jesus answering, said to her: O woman, great is thy faith: be it done to thee as thou wilt: and her daughter was cured from that hour.
15:29. And when Jesus had passed away from thence, he came nigh the sea of Galilee: and going up into a mountain, he sat there.
15:30. And there came to him great multitudes, having with them the dumb, the blind, the lame, the maimed, and many others: and they cast them down at his feet, and he healed them:
15:31. So that the multitudes marvelled seeing the dumb speak, the lame walk, the blind see: and they glorified the God of Israel.
15:32. And Jesus called together his disciples, and said: I have compassion on the multitudes, because they continue with me now three days, and have not what to eat, and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.
15:33. And the disciples say unto him: Whence then should we have so many loaves in the desert, as to fill so great a multitude?
15:34. And Jesus said to them: How many loaves have you? But they said: Seven, and a few little fishes.
15:35. And he commanded the multitude to sit down upon the ground.
15:36. And taking the seven loaves and the fishes, and giving thanks, he brake, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples gave to the people.
15:37. And they did all eat, and had their fill. And they took up seven baskets full, of what remained of the fragments.
15:38. And they that did eat, were four thousand men, beside children and women.
15:39. And having dismissed the multitude, he went up into a boat, and came into the coasts of Magedan.