Jesus presents children as models of receptivity, docility, trust, and obedience and shows extra care and love for them. He strongly condemns any act that may scandalize or cause them to fall. Such is Jesus’ seriousness in protecting the “little ones” that he uses a very strong, even violent metaphor as to what the cause of scandal deserves to receive: a millstone tied around his neck and he thrown into the sea!
So much violence has been done to God’s “little ones,” especially infants and children. Thankfully, more and more measures have been taken to protect them. May we continue to value the little children to whom Jesus says the Kingdom of God belongs.
Do we share in efforts to protect the vulnerable, the powerless, and the disadvantaged? Do we provide good examples for them instead of causing them harm?
Gospel • MARK 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 it 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.”
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2019,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: email@example.com; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.