Scripture: 1st Reading: James5,1-6; Resp. Psalm: Ps49,14-20; Gosp. Accl.: 1Thess2,13; Gospel: Mk9,41-50
The teaching of our Lord in today's gospel rests on three important pillars or principles of the spiritual life: generousity to the work of the gospel and the reward that will be ours when we open our hands to support God's work joyfully and cheerfully.
The second pillar is that believers must never constitute themselves into obstacles for the fall of others. A good believer must assist others like him to attain true and authentic holiness. In this way, holiness becomes the true vocation of those who believe in Jesus. To become holy is therefore the reason for our existence because holiness of life makes us encounter God here on earth and guarantee our union with Him in the hereafter.
The third pillar our Lord put to us today for our edification is that any true believer must never allow anything to constitute an obstacle to him on his journey to heaven. Every believer must run away from all situations, persons, things that distract their attentions and mitigate against their commitment to God.
In explaining this, our Lord used even the parts of the body. He uses these because they are important parts of the body that lead us to sin: hand, foot and eye. Most of the sins we commit most times are facilitated by one or the other of these parts of the body. Our Lord warned us that the sinful parts of our bodies will be of no avail to us on the day of His definitive encounter with us at the end of time.
The word of God today proposes to us to think and reflect on our identity as believers. As believers, our identity is that we are the salt of the earth. We are called to bring taste and flavour to the world. By doing that, that is, by being who we truly are, we shall not lose our reward. But if we forget who we are and lose our saltiness, we cannot be seasoned and we cannot season the lives of others.
This is why we must pay serious attention to the challenge given to us in today's first reading. We must not allow riches and possessions to becloud our visions and make us into haters of men, oppressors of those who work under us, unjust persons who grab the little possessions of the poor and people who live in and revel in fraud.
The word warns us never to put our trust in riches or in the things we acquire. We must put no trust in gold or silver because they will not last forever. They will fail us on the day of judgement. The word of God says today that they will bring us miseries at the end if now we rely on and put our trust and hope in them. Let us therefore heed the voice of God today and enter into His peace.
Let us pray: Lord our God, you have given us the supreme example of generousity when you sent your Son to be our Saviour and gave Him up to die as a sacrifice for our sins. Give us your grace to be generous with who we are and what you have bestowed upon us. Amen.
Kindly pray and offer Mass for the peaceful repose of my late father, Pa Joseph Igbekele, who died 18.05.18, and for the souls of all the faithful departed that they may rest in the peace of the Lord. God bless you.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.