Divine Dialogue of God with the Soul
My Dear Good People,
In today’s Gospel, Mark 9:38-48, Jesus is speaking to all of us on more than one subject. Let us consider for a few moments the more thought-provoking part of this Gospel passage.
Here Jesus tells us plainly that sin has no place in our relationship with Him. As a matter of fact, it’s to be avoided at great cost. Without being specific about any sin, He is very specific about how we should avoid it: if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. No qualifiers, no exemptions, no opportunity for questions; as we say, It is what it is!
And just what is it? Jesus says It’s better to enter the Kingdom of God (read ‘heaven’) lame or with only one eye than to go to Gehenna (read ‘hell’) whole.
Jesus isn’t threatening us here with hell. Nor is He suggesting that amputating body parts gives us the promise of heaven. The first century Israelites were accustomed to graphic utterances, but this one would have struck them with the realization that God wants us to spend eternity with Him because He’s in love with us and wants us to be willing to do anything to make His dream come true–for His sake as well as ours!
And make no mistake–He really is telling us to be willing to lose an arm or a leg (well, a foot), if that will bring us to eternity, because He plans to lose His very life, to be shattered on the cross, so the gates of heaven will be open for us when we get there! Jesus is like that. He doesn’t ever ask us to do anything He hasn’t done first: Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Always tell the truth. Respect the rights of others.
And, don’t ever sabotage your integrity by doing something that’s unworthy of you.
That makes sense: we are made in the image of God. We read it in the first chapter of the first book of the Bible (Genesis 1:27). Let’s be sure never to do anything that will blur His image in us. Wouldn’t it be awesome if, when Jesus gazes on us that first moment of our eternity, He would see His own image in our eyes (or our eye, if we only have one)? That’s His plan. Let it be ours, too.
Heaven is for real. Let’s pray for one another that we will meet there, on a day and at a time to be determined….
God bless you.
I send you the love of all my Sisters of Charity.