Gospel of Mark 9:41-50 Reflection:
In today’s gospel we have that dramatic scene where Jesus tells us to cut off our hand or pluck out our eye if it causes us to sin. Of course Jesus is not telling us to literally do these things but he is telling us in a dramatic way about the dangers of sin. He is using dramatic words to convey to us the utter importance of what sin can do to us.
He also warns us against giving scandal and tells us that it would be much better to die now than to bring others down by our actions. Again he uses the dramatic image of the millstone round the neck and being thrown in to water to convey that we should do anything before we give scandal.
In our modern age we don’t like the directness of Jesus’ message. Some of the secularist ideas that certain things are not too bad are getting through to us. Thomas Aquinas says that we should not commit a venial sin to save a thousand lives. He had a real detestation of sin.
We should try to keep our attitude free from all stain of wrong thinking. Greed, lust, desire for power and fame lurk deep within us. We should always be on our guard for them, stopping them the minute they show themselves in our mind.
The earlier we catch them the easier it is to deal with them.