“IF YOUR HAND CAUSES YOU TO SIN, CUT IT OFF” (Mark 9:43)
📖Jam 5:1-6; Ps 49:12-15, 15d-16, 17-18, 19-20 (R. Matt 5:3); Mark 9:41-50
The Greek term ‘skandalon’ is used to describe an obstacle that hinders progress. Our action or inaction can become an obstacle to others. For instance, if I do anything, it doesn’t matter if it is right or wrong, and people get affected by it, maybe to the extent that they stopped coming to Church, I have become a stumbling block for them.
Again, this is a time for introspection. Is there anything I do that scandalizes people? Is it about my relationship with women, or with money, or with authority? Am I fond of being seen in wrong places, probably at wrong times too? No matter how much I might try to justify my actions, I must try not to be an obstacle to the faith of others. The penalty is hell (cf. Mark 9:44).
Finally, are you in anyway involved in depriving people what is their due? St. James gives us a serious warning about that (cf. Jam 5:1-6). Such action touches the heart of God and spurs to come out in defense of the defenseless.
Wait! Do you know anyone who is involved in using people’s salaries for personal business while they perish in hunger? Warn such a person to change because God, the consuming fire, would not fail to burn the hands holding back what is due to his children.
God is not interested in the death of the wicked but that the wicked might repent and live (cf. Ezek 33:11). But if the wicked chooses to remain in wickedness, he shall die (cf. Ezek 33:9).
So I pray that whatever hands that are blocking your dues shall repent and release them. And when they fail, may the fire of God begin to burn such a hand until it submits to the will of God. Amen.
Have a fulfilling day ahead. Peace be with you.