First Reading: Numbers 11:25-29
Second Reading: James 5:1-6
Gospel: Mark 9:38-43,45, 47-48
When something broke around my house, when my dad was alive, he would almost always say: “What do you expect, for it to last forever?” Actually, I would like it to last forever, because one of three things will need to occur: repair it myself or buy a new one or get someone to fix it. We live in a world of constant change -.the weather changes every day, we are getting older, prices keep changing (usually upwards) etc. The only constant we can count on is God – who never changes. In fact, one of the qualities of God is that he is unchanging and if you like a big word – God is immutable!
Our gospel today is about change. Perhaps you are wondering what does Jesus mean in today’s gospel? “If your hand makes you lose faith, cut it off…If your foot makes you lose faith, cut it off…If your eye makes you lose faith, take it out! It is better to enter the Kingdom of God with one only eye than to keep both eyes and be thrown into hell.”
Jesus is speaking in the expressions of his time to make a very important point. What is that point? We must be ready to sacrifice whatever is necessary to keep ourselves from sinning! Sin will cause us to lose eternal life and prevent us from entering the Kingdom of God. This is the change we must make! Confession is the sacrament of change. We receive the power to change our sinful ways. We can’t do it on our own. We need the mercy of Jesus Christ to forgive our sins and his grace to fight temptation and not sin again – all received in the sacrament of change!
Let’s remember an important point: all sin requires our consent. Whether it be a sin in thought, word or action…we may blame someone else…but the bottom line is: our consent.
Every time we sin, we say “no” to God’s desire for us all to enter into his eternal kingdom. We vow to fight, with every ounce of our strength and will – backed by the power of our Lord Jesus Christ – who overcame sin and death – convincingly conquering them! This is the power of the cross. We share in Jesus’s victory!
May God bless us always!