Gospel of Mark 9:41-50 Reflection:
Both today's readings are full of practical advice and warnings. In the first reading the author of Ecclesiasticus tells us not to put our hearts on money or to think of ourselves as self sufficient or to follow blindly the desires of the heart. This is a foolish way to live, he says.
In the gospel, Jesus tells us to cut off the hand or foot that causes us to sin.
A bit melodramatic but what Jesus is saying is that anything that causes you to move away from God, cut it out of your life, you are better without it.
When we start to think about it, there are so many things that lead us on to sin. One of the big flaws in most of us is that feeling of superiority and revenge we get from harbouring a resentment; the feeling of power is quite alluring.
Another is the justified anger that comes with non forgiveness, especially when we have been wronged.
Idle gossip that so easily turns to malicious gossip--now that's a big one.
Jesus tells us to stop these things the minute we see them rising in our hearts. He calls on us to be constantly vigilant.
But we are lazy and let our minds drift and we seldom try to keep it in check. That's what Jesus is talking about today.