The key word in Mark 7: 14-23 is the word defile. In Greek, the word is Koine, to make common. Similar words in English the better grasp the spirit of the word are vulgar and mean. The Latin Bible is called the Vulgate. It is the common man’s bible. We use mean in arithmetic to be another word for average, or common.
To grasp this understanding of mean, we need only to think about seeing the average people who live on Neal Road, or Montello Boulevard. Not the real average people, but the typecast we think of when we think of the hood. Most people on the hood are normal people who go to church on Sunday, and just want to get from the cradle to the grave in one piece. Some have already fallen short through car and industrial accidents.
We, of course, all like to think of ourselves as special. That includes the common people. To be special, sometimes in spite of the evidence, we have to buck the trend. We have to think of other people, in particular people of the opposite sex, as… people. We must respect what belongs to all people, and that includes respect, human dignity as made in the image of God. That means respecting the family of the other person. If he is not married, he desires to be. We must respect that family. That means respecting his right to a living wage that will pay for that family, if he is married or not. In two places, St. Paul tells us that greed is idolatry. Ephesians 5:5 & Colossians 3:5. The Hebrew word for hatred is the same word as teeth, as in gnarling the teeth. This means patience and self control and realizing God is in charge, sometimes in spite of the evidence.
It really all does come down to Deuteronomy 5: 1-7 where it talks about remembering what it was like to be oppressed and doing something when we see others suffering. This makes us special. It all comes down to Deuteronomy 6:4-9 where it says we are to love God with all our hearts, (hearts is plural) with all our anima, and with everything we use to measure ourselves with. How do we love God? What do we give someone who already has everything? We respect what is his. What is his? Everything, including each other. Is it wrong to love ourselves? I don’t know, but we must remember that to our neighbor, we are neighbor. Therefore, loving him and respecting him means allowing him to fulfill his Mitzvah of loving us. Remember, it really is possible for nobody to be common because we are all special. To God, we are all special. Let us remember that as we go out into our world.