Cut It Out — Thursday, 7th Week of Ordinary Time—Year II

Gospel: Mark 9:41-50

Jesus said to his disciples: “Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.”

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.”

In establishing his first covenant with Abraham, the Lord said, “I will bless those who bless you and curse those who curse you.” (Genesis 12:3) Likewise, Jesus declares that whoever does the least kindness to those in his covenant will be rewarded, while whoever leads one his own into sin faces dire consequences. Sin is a serious thing.

“If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.”

“And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off.”

“And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.”

Of course, Jesus does not want us to mutilate ourselves because our bodily organs are not the real cause of our sins. But let us consider: what actions or material possessions do I take in hand, to what places do I go by foot, what sights do I perceive with my eyes, that are near occasions of sin for me? Let us firmly resolve with the help of God’s grace to cut these things out of our lives, so that we may be a blessing to all and a scandal to none, the salt of the earth and never cast out.

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