WEEK TWENTY SIX – SUNDAY – B – SEPTEMBER 26, 2021 – GAINING HEAVEN (MK 9:38-43; 47-48)

Prayer:

O Jesus, purify my heart and guide my decisions

Imagination:

Picture Jesus with his disciples. 

Context:

This gospel has many little parts. Some teach about relationships within the believing community. Others explain what is needed for personal salvation. Both are important. Jesus mentions the “fire of Gehenna.” This was a rubbish place outside of Jerusalem where there were constant fires. 

Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.) 

John said to Jesus, “Master, we saw someone casting out devils in your name. Because he is not of our company, we tried to stop him.” Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no man can do a miracle in my name and speak ill of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. 

Anyone who gives you a cup of cold water in my name because you belong to Christ, Amen, I tell you, he shall not lose his reward. But it would be better, if anyone leads astray one of these little ones who believe in me, that a millstone be tied around his neck and he be plunged into the sea. If your hand is a difficulty, cut it off! Better for you to enter life with one hand than to keep both hands and enter into the fire of Gehenna. 

If your foot is your undoing, cut it off! Better for you to enter life with one foot than, with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna. If your eye is your downfall, pluck it out! It is better to enter life with one eye than to be thrown with two eyes into Gehenna, where the worm dies not and the fire is never extinguished.” 

Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)

  1. Jesus confronts John’s pride. He cannot accept an outsider sharing in Jesus’ powers. 
  2. Jesus confronts scandal when new believers see older members who do not fulfill Jesus’ commands. 
  3. Believers must give a “cup of cold water,” that is, the good example of their Christian lives. 
  4. Jesus confronts sin within the Church. The goal is heaven and damnation must be avoided at all costs. 
  5. This is a true disciple – humble, open to others, setting good example and avoiding sinful activity. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • O Lord, how holy is your name, containing all power in heaven and earth. 
  • O Jesus, let every tongue proclaim your name for the Father’s glory. 
  • I am your follower. Let my life lead others to follow you. 
  • Help me so I never lead others astray. 
  • O Jesus, your Kingdom is worth any price! 
  • Cut out of my life whatever cuts me off from you. 

Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)

+ I will use Jesus’ name to release God’s power. 

+ I will remove anything that gives bad example. 

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.) 

He will not lose his reward.