At that time, John said to Jesus,
“Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name,
and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.”
Jesus replied, “Do not prevent him.
There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name
who can at the same time speak ill of me.
For whoever is not against us is for us.
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.
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.
It is better for you to enter into life maimed
than with two hands to go into Gehenna,
into the unquenchable fire.
And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off.
It is better for you to enter into life crippled
than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna.
And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.
Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye
than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna,
where ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'” MK 9:38-43, 45, 47-48
We are all sinners in God’s eyes, equal, no titles, no life of success, no rich or poor, no different color of skin. Why is this? Because God is mercy and love. We are reconciled through His Son Jesus. Those who are baptized have an indelible mark set upon them and are adopted sons and daughters of God set apart or anointed for a specific mission in life. We each have a role in the Church and our vocations. We have each been blessed with gifts-physical and spiritual. We are not repeatable made in the image and likeness of God. The book of revelation tells us “No sin will enter heaven”. So, how can anyone enter heaven? Through the narrow gate, Jesus Christ who God sent into the world to reconcile us with Him. Jesus teaches us today the danger of sin. He warns against those who have caused others to sin (been there done that). He breaks down two important parts of our bodies that cause us to sin, our hands and our eyes (He includes our mouth in other parts of the Gospel). He does not want us to literally pluck out our eye or cut off our hand/foot. He is teaching us how to avoid the near occasion of sin and resist the temptation of the devil. We must stop going to the places that are causing us to sin: TV, computer, cell phones, a certain room in our house, etc. We may need to stop hanging out with certain people. Take time away from these things if they are causing us to sin: fast or abstain. Your mind and will will be tested, two of your spiritual powers, but if you resist it creates strength, courage, and faith, a stronger you. It will drive you to prayer and humility essentials to the road to sainthood. This inherited fallen human nature can be conquered because Jesus died on the cross. Since he became man, died and rose, we can become divine. Last, God’s grace is necessary when we fall into sin. The Eucharist forgives our sin and helps us fight sin. Through a priest in confession, our sins are forgiven. God forgets those sins, stop dwelling on your sinful past and start remembering the joy of salvation. We are all sinners in God’s eyes, allow Him to love you and forgive you. We can sin less by fighting our fallen human nature and through God’s grace we can become sinless and enter heaven. Amen.
Today’s challenge: Cut off a part of your life that is causing you to sin, pray, fast, conquer and experience joy.
Become a saint!