And the Pharisees gathered around him, etc. ( Mark 7:1)
With a two-pronged argument, he counters the excessive ranting of the Pharisees by means of the chiding of Moses and Isaiah,1 so that we may overcome opposing heresies with the words of Scripture. They saw the disciples eating bread with defiled, that is, unwashed, hands.2 This signifies the future communion of the gentiles. The cleanliness and the baptism of the Pharisees are useless. The unwashed apostolic community stretches its branches even as far as the sea, which is greater than the guilt.3 However, the tradition of the Pharisees in regard to tables and dishes is not to be maintained, but is to be cut off and eradicated. Often the commandments of God give place to the traditions of men.
After these things, we have the ninth sign (cf. Mark 7:24). The Tyro- Phoenician woman,4 whose daughter had an unclean spirit, entered and fell at his feet ( Mark 7:25). She was a gentile woman. She petitions on behalf of the daughter who is our mother, the Roman church. The daughter of the possessed stands for a barbaric western nation. Her faith changes a dog into a sheep.5____________________