John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us.” Jesus replied, “Do not prevent him. There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me. For whoever is not against us is for us. Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward. “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe (in me) to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life crippled than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna, where ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’

So, what do you think about that?! I pondered this Gospel for a few days, and one night, in my insomnia, I cried out to God and in the morning he answered me with this:
What is causing you to sin? Not your hand, or foot or eye; rather, it is your actions or inaction that cause sin. So, the question is what needs to be cut off or out in your life? Is it food, drink, selfishness, drugs, sex, pornography, greed, idolatry, envy, the list contains as many possibilities as people in the world.
In order to learn what we need to rid ourselves of, we must go to the Lord in prayer and a sincere heart to be open to what he tells us. Change is never easy, but if we allow God to gently rid us of our sins, then we will be filled with his mercy and peace.
Jesus is reminding us that our goal is heaven and to reach it we must exert some effort. He is also clear that to enter, one must be pure.

Sunday’s Gospel

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