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Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48

The Word of God

John said to him, ‘Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.’ But Jesus said, ‘Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterwards to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.

‘If any of you put a stumbling-block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.

Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • No other religious leader in history insisted more clearly than Jesus Christ, that what we do in this life will have eternal consequences. The good things we do, even something as apparently insignificant as giving a cup of water, will not go unrewarded. On the other hand, our unrepented loveless actions have consequences. Thomas Merton once referred to the unspeakable triviality of much popular religion which consists precisely in not taking seriously even the possibility of these eternal consequences.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • To believe in Jesus is a great gift from God. Anyone that does a good act to another in His name are certainly blessed. Also, if someone gives you just a cup of water because you believe in the Lord, they too will receive a reward. On the other hand, if we should block others from believing in the Lord, Jesus tells us in very descriptive language that there will be a price to pay. How we deal with each other reminds us of our responsibility vis-à-vis the examples, either good or bad, that we portray in our way of living.
    • Recall in your own life those to whom you are deeply indebted for the good advice and example you received from them. They may not even know of their effects on you: you never know when you are being watched.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • The followers of Jesus are not meant to be an exclusive group which despises the good work that others do. We are encouraged to work with other Christians, and indeed with anyone of good will. The old slogan, ‘Outside the Church there is no salvation’ was a stumbling block to many good people, and must be left aside. Boasting has no place in the kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit blows like the wind wherever it pleases, and is at work incognito in every heart. God has a large imagination and labours to orchestrate all things for the world’s good.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Discipleship is not some personal privilege to be jealously guarded. We have no monopoly on Jesus. Appreciation of the good deeds done by others is essential. In his kingdom, power-seeking and rivalry have no place: they are an obstacle and a cause of scandal.
    • Lord, self-renunciation and attention to the needs of our brothers and sisters are the hallmark of belonging to you. You call me to be a stepping stone for others, not a stumbling block.