Thursday, May 19, 2016
Reflection: Mark 9:41-50
Thursday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time - Mark 9:41-50
In this Gospel from Mark, Jesus instructs his disciples: “Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, surely will not lose his/her reward.” If anyone causes one of the little ones who believe in me to sin, there will be dire consequences for these individuals. It would be better for them to have a large millstone put around their necks and then be throw into the sea. Jesus also tells the disciples, “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off! It is better for you to be maimed than to go into the unquenchable fire of Gehenna.”
Some of the words and images Jesus uses in this Gospel are graphic, intimidating, and frightening. Jesus wants his disciples to understand that the choices they make every day of their lives will determine their future. Their choices will affect their happiness and peace in this world and their choices will determine what will happen after they die.
Today is a good day for us to stop and reflect on the choices we are making in our lives. Do my choices only involve what is good for me or am I concerned about the people in my life and in our world? My daily choices have an impact on the life I am living. My choices determine my peace, my happiness, and, to a degree, my physical and mental health. Despite knowing this, I don’t often think about the choices I make each day.
This evening, I invite you to sit down and reflect on your day. What were the choices you made today? Did you attend to the needs of others or were you completely self-focused? What were the gifts you received today? Be thankful for these gifts.
Then ask yourself: What do I want to do differently when the new day dawns? Each new day is a gift! Cherish this gift and the opportunity to begin again!