May 23, 2013

The Gospel Today

Thursday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Mk 9: 41-50

Jesus said to his disciples:
“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 if 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.

“Everyone will be salted with fire.
Salt is good, but if salt becomes insipid,
with what will you restore its flavor?
Keep salt in yourselves and you will have peace with one another.”

Reflection (Sem. Randy D. Buquis)

There are three important points being emphasized in today’s Gospel. First, is the invitational word of Jesus that ‘anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink’ will be having a reward but on the second part, is a warning for those who live in sin – that it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea. This is the way how God values those who believe in him.

The third point which is in the last part of the Gospel speaks of being salt of the earth. Based on the commentary I read salt is a needed commodity because it gives flavor to food and serves as seasoning. It also functions as a preservative, keeping food from decay. In Scriptures, salt is noted for its whiteness. It symbolizes purity. Salt is also used for purification in the temple (cf Lv 2:13).

The Gospel is inviting us to be a salt to others which means to become a blessing to others or give meaning to people’s lives. I remember when I was in high school and college, every time there are family occasions.  I always do not attend any celebration and just stay in our home. One time through the conviction of my mother, I attended one party and they were so glad that they were able to see and mingle with me. I realized then and learned that the most important gift that we can give is our presence. Like the salt which symbolizes purity it is an invitation for us to be an example of purity in our words and actions.

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