Gospel: Mark 9:41-50
If anyone gives you a drink of water because you belong to Christ and bear his name, truly, I say to you, he will not go without reward
If anyone should cause one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble and sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a great millstone around his neck.
If your hand makes you fall into sin, cut it off! It is better for you to enter life without a hand, than with two hands to go to hell, to the fire that never goes out. And if your foot makes you fall into sin, cut it off! It is better for you to enter life without a foot, than with both feet to be thrown into hell. And if your eye makes you fall into sin, tear it out! It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, keeping both eyes, to be thrown into hell, where the worms that eat them never die, and the fire never goes out. The fire itself will preserve them.
Salt is a good thing; but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another.”
“If your hand makes you fall into sin, cut it off!”
In today’s Gospel Jesus delivers a hellfire sermon on the judgment that awaits those who corrupt the innocent, along with a fearsome call to renounce any part of us that leads us to sin. (Alarmed by those who might take this literally, the early church issued a prohibition against self-mutilation as a way of maintaining purity.) Of course it is not our hand or foot or any other part of our bodies that causes us to sin. The root of sin lies in our hearts—in hatred, greed, anger, fear, lust, envy.
The occasion may seem like a petty thing: my dislike for strangers, a “harmless” little lie, my willingness to keep silent about prejudice or corruption. These “little”sins have the power to draw us completely into corruption. We must be on guard against them as much as any “great” sin. We must be wary lest our “salt”—the essential integrity of our souls— should lose its flavor. When we find ourselves falling into moral compromise, we must scrutinize the source of our weakness and ruthlessly cast it out.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2019