Today’s reading is drawn from Matthew 15:17-20 and 1 Corinthians 6:13-14
Sometimes we look for external reasons for our problems when the real explanation lies deep inside of us: A 61-year-old Texas man kept getting drunk, even though he claimed he hadn’t been drinking alcohol. The escalating problem compelled doctors to isolate him — without booze — for 24 hours. He still got drunk. It prompted his physicians to look internally for the problem, and they found it. In the absence of healthy gut flora, brewer’s yeast had taken up residence in the man’s stomach and was turning any starch he ate into alcohol — and enough to inebriate him. The problem is by no means common, but it does happen from time to time. It usually occurs after a round of antibiotics inadvertently wipes out the good bacteria our bodies need to stay healthy and in balance. When the Pharisees questioned Jesus about the fact that the disciples didn’t wash their hands before they ate, thereby defiling their food, Jesus responded by explaining that we are defiled when impure things — evil thoughts — come from the heart. It’s easier to blame anyone or anything except ourselves, but looking within is often the only way to find spiritual sobriety.