“Living a saintly life and attracting many to Christ!”
(Based on Jas 5:1-6 and Mk 9:41-50 – Thursday of the 7th Week in Ordinary Time, Year II)
An experience is narrated of a family who went to visit the world-famous Niagara Falls.
It was spring, and ice was rushing down the river.
As the family members viewed the large blocks of ice flowing toward the falls, they could see that there were carcasses of dead fish embedded in the ice.
A large number of sea-gulls (= birds, which feed mainly on fish) were riding down the river, feeding on the fish.
As they came to the brink of the falls, their wings would go out, and they would escape from the falls.
However there was one particular sea-gull, which seemed to delay much in flying.
It was deeply engrossed in the carcass of a fish.
Finally, only when it came to the brink of the falls, did it “flap its wings”.
…But it was a moment too late!
The bird flapped and flapped and even lifted the ice out of the water.
But it had delayed too long so that its claws had frozen into the ice.
The weight of the ice was too great, and the gull plunged into the abyss!
Excessive attachment and attraction, at the expense of “letting go”, cost the sea-gull its life!
How true is the saying: “The finest attractions of this world become deadly when one becomes overly attached to them.”
The Gospel of the Day is the powerful exhortation of Jesus on the need to “cut-off and pluck-off” ANYTHING which causes us to sin…
…thus according the prime duty of every follower of Christ to meticulously and diligently pursue the paths of holiness!
Jesus uses an extreme language to convey this message across:
“If your hand causes you to sin… cut it off!
If your foot causes you to sin… cut it off!
If your eye causes you to sin… pluck it off!” (Mk 9: 43,45,47)
The hand….the foot… and the eye… are three faculties which are extremely vital for a person’s activities:
The hand: points to the things “that we do”
The foot: points to the places “that we go”
The eye: points to the things “that we see or desire”
Jesus, thus refers to ANYTHING, which causes sin, to be totally be dismembered.
We need to make an honest examination of our lives…
What are the areas of my life, which cause me to sin…
… and keeps me away, from pursuing holiness?
Who are the people in my life, who lead me to sin…
… or keep me away from becoming closer to the Lord?
Which are the activities, which instigates me to sin…
… and renders me a slave to the wiles of the devil?
As human beings, there could be a naturally tendency….
… to easily get attached to things which attract and allure us
… to find it hard to let go of situations which gives us momentary pleasure and vain gratification
… to be impelled to remain holding onto certain people, even though we know they cause us to sin
But the Lord calls for an honest examination of our life…
…and dares us to “let go” of anything that would cause us to be unworthy of His Love.
May we seek to not get “attached” or “stuck” to the peripheries of life…
…instead “flap our wings” in the proper time…
… and pursue the paths of holiness and sanctity!
Let our lives be a saintly one, attracting many to Christ…
… and not a scandalous one, repelling many from Christ!
God Bless! Live Jesus!
📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
This perfect life with the Most Holy Trinity – this communion of Life and Love with the Trinity, with the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the blessed – is called “heaven.”
Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfilment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness.
To live in heaven is “to be with Christ.”
The elect live “in Christ,” but they retain, or rather find, their true identity, their own name.
For life is to be with Christ; where Christ is, there is life, there is the kingdom (CCC # 1024-1025)