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From: Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48

Being the Servant of All

[38] John said to Him (Jesus), “Teacher, we saw a man casting out demons in
Your name, and we forbade him, because he was not following us.” [39] But Je-
sus said, “Do not forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in My name
will be able soon after to speak evil of Me. [40] For he that is not against us is
for us.”


[41] “For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because
you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose his reward.

[42] “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin it would
be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were
thrown into the sea. [43] And if your hand causes you to sin cut it off; it is bet-
ter for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquen-
chable fire. [45] And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you
to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. [47] And if your eye
causes you to sin, pluck it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God
with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, [48] where their worm
does not die, and the fire is not quenched.


38-40. Our Lord warns the Apostles, and through them all Christians, against ex-
clusivism in the apostolate—the notion that “good is not good unless I am the one
who does it.” We must assimilate this teaching of Christ’s: good is good, even if
it is not I who do it. Cf. note on Luke 9:49-50.

[The note on Luke 9:49-50 states:

49-50. Our Lord corrects the exclusivist and intolerant attitude of the Apostles.
St Paul later learned this lesson, as we can see from what he wrote during his
imprisonment in Rome: “Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but
others from good will [...]. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pre-
tense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in that I rejoice” (Philippians 1:15,
18). “Rejoice, when you see others working in good apostolic activities. And
ask God to grant them abundant grace and that they may respond to that grace.
Then, you, on your way: convince yourself that it’s the only way for you” (St. J.
Escriva, “The Way”, 965).]

41. The value and merit of good works lies mainly in the love of God with which
they are done: “A little act, done for love, is worth so much” (St. J. Escriva,
“The Way”, 814). God regards in a special way acts of service to others, how-
ever small: “Do you see that glass of water or that piece of bread which a holy
soul gives to a poor person for God’s sake; it is a small matter, God knows, and
in human judgment hardly worthy of consideration: God, notwithstanding, recom-
penses it, and forthwith gives for it some increase of charity” (St Francis de
Sales, “Treatise on the Love of God”, book 2, chap. 2).

42. “Scandal is anything said, done or omitted which leads another to commit
sin” (”St Pius X Catechism”, 417). Scandal is called, and is, diabolical when the
aim of the scandal-giver is to provoke his neighbor to sin, understanding sin as
offense against God. Since sin is the greatest of all evils, it is easy to understand
why scandal is so serious and, therefore, why Christ condemns it so roundly.
Causing scandal to children is especially serious, because they are so less able
to defend themselves against evil. What Christ says applies to everyone, but es-
pecially to parents and teachers, who are responsible before God for the souls of
the young.

43. “Hell”, literally “Gehenna” or “Ge-hinnom”, was a little valley south of Jerusa-
lem, outside the walls and below the city. For centuries it was used as the city
dump. Usually garbage was burned to avoid it being a focus of infection. Gehen-
na was, proverbially, an unclean and unhealthy place: our Lord used this to ex-
plain in a graphic way the unquenchable fire of hell.

43-48. After teaching the obligation everyone has to avoid giving scandal to oth-
ers, Jesus now gives the basis of Christian moral teaching on the subject of “oc-
casions of sin”—situations liable to lead to sin. He is very explicit: a person is
obliged to avoid proximate occasions of sin, just as he is obliged to avoid sin it-
self; as God already put it in the Old Testament: “Whoever lives in danger will
perish by it” (Sir 3:26-27). The eternal good of our soul is more important than
any temporal good. Therefore, anything that places us in proximate danger of
committing sin should be cut off and thrown away. By putting things in this way
our Lord makes sure we recognize the seriousness of this obligation.

The Fathers see, in these references to hands and eyes and so forth, people who
are persistent in evil and ever-ready to entice others to evil behavior and erroneous
beliefs. These are the people we should distance ourselves from, so as to enter
life, rather than accompany them to hell (St Augustine, “De Consensu Evangelis-
tarum”, IV, 16; St John Chrysostom, “Hom. on St Matthew”, 60).

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

5 posted on 09/29/2012 9:34:23 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All
Scripture readings taken from the Jerusalem Bible, published and copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd

Readings at Mass

First reading Numbers 11:25-29 ©
The Lord came down in the Cloud. He spoke with Moses, but took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. When the spirit came on them they prophesied, but not again.
  Two men had stayed back in the camp; one was called Eldad and the other Medad. The spirit came down on them; though they had not gone to the Tent, their names were enrolled among the rest. These began to prophesy in the camp. The young man ran to tell this to Moses, ‘Look,’ he said ‘Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.’ Then said Joshua the son of Nun, who had served Moses from his youth, ‘My Lord Moses, stop them!’ Moses answered him, ‘Are you jealous on my account? If only the whole people of the Lord were prophets, and the Lord gave his Spirit to them all!’

Psalm Psalm 18:8,10,12-14 ©
The precepts of the Lord gladden the heart.
The law of the Lord is perfect,
  it revives the soul.
The rule of the Lord is to be trusted,
  it gives wisdom to the simple.
The precepts of the Lord gladden the heart.
The fear of the Lord is holy,
  abiding for ever.
The decrees of the Lord are truth
  and all of them just.
The precepts of the Lord gladden the heart.
So in them your servant finds instruction;
  great reward is in their keeping.
But who can detect all his errors?
  From hidden faults acquit me.
The precepts of the Lord gladden the heart.
From presumption restrain your servant
  and let it not rule me.
Then shall I be blameless,
  clean from grave sin.
The precepts of the Lord gladden the heart.

Second reading James 5:1-6 ©
An answer for the rich. Start crying, weep for the miseries that are coming to you. Your wealth is all rotting, your clothes are all eaten up by moths. All your gold and your silver are corroding away, and the same corrosion will be your own sentence, and eat into your body. It was a burning fire that you stored up as your treasure for the last days. Labourers mowed your fields, and you cheated them – listen to the wages that you kept back, calling out; realise that the cries of the reapers have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. On earth you have had a life of comfort and luxury; in the time of slaughter you went on eating to your heart’s content. It was you who condemned the innocent and killed them; they offered you no resistance.

Gospel Acclamation Jn17:17
Alleluia, alleluia!
Your word is truth, O Lord:
consecrate us in the truth.

Gospel Mark 9:38-43,45,47-48 ©
John said to Jesus, ‘Master, we saw a man who is not one of us casting out devils in your name; and because he was not one of us we tried to stop him.’ But Jesus said, ‘You must not stop him: no one who works a miracle in my name is likely to speak evil of me. Anyone who is not against us is for us.
  ‘If anyone gives you a cup of water to drink just because you belong to Christ, then I tell you solemnly, he will most certainly not lose his reward.
  ‘But anyone who is an obstacle to bring down one of these little ones who have faith, would be better thrown into the sea with a great millstone round his neck. And if your hand should cause you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter into life crippled, than to have two hands and go to hell, into the fire that cannot be put out. And if your foot should cause you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter into life lame, than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye should cause you to sin, tear it out; it is better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell where their worm does not die nor their fire go out.’

6 posted on 09/29/2012 9:37:32 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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