Beginning Anew

Daily Reflection – 2/28/19

Sacred Scripture

Jesus said to his disciples: “Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose their 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. For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.” (Mark 9:41-50)

Reflection

Jesus is teaching his disciples and helping them to understand the expectations. 

Jesus is telling his disciples to not judge others and that actions in the name of Christ (such as the giving of water) will be recognized. 

Jesus is basically saying to the disciples, . . .Before you start pointing that finger at others, look at the three fingers pointing back at you! He challenges the disciples [and us] to look at themselves [ourselves] and recognize those temptations that cause us to sin.  Take care of these things before you judge what others do. 

The idea of salt as a preservative as something that can purify is important here.  Jesus is reminding the disciples that they are not the only ones that have this salt and fire.  Yet even salt can lose its “power” and it becomes ineffective in doing what it is meant to do.  So, there is some scolding here to the disciples with the message that first, they need to keep the salt in themselves.  They need to keep the ability to preserve what is right and get themselves right before any judgement of others.  It is clear to me that whenever Jesus teaches a lesson to the disciples particularly about their own behavior, attitudes, or actions, that lesson is pointed directly at me as well.  I must, first and foremost, focus on my life and keeping the commandments as was emphasized a couple of Sundays ago.

Have you ever stopped to think about the importance of Heaven? It is not often a question that we ask ourselves, especially in the midst of such chaotic lives. But regardless of how busy we are, it is important to stop and think about where we are going to spend eternity. Our Lord talks about the importance of Heaven in today’s gospel. He tells us that it is so important, that you should be willing to do anything to get there. We should not let anything hold us back. And what is the one thing that can hold us back? Sin, it is sin that can hold us back from reaching our goal of heaven. But Jesus challenges us and tells that if there is anything that causes us to sin in our life, then we should get rid of it … heaven is that important!

Prayer of The Day

Father, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, help lead and guide us through this life. We thank you and praise you for all the blessings you bestow. Help us to be good stewards of all that we have, and help us to never stray from your ways.

Daily Note

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.  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!

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