Daily Reflection on the Gospel of Thursday, May 23, 2024

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Today, the proclaimed Gospel is somewhat difficult to understand for Jesus' words are certainly very harsh: «If your hand makes you fall into sin, cut it off! (…). And if your eye makes you fall into sin, tear it out!» (Mk 9:43-47). Jesus is very demanding with those of us who are his followers. But Jesus simply wants to emphasize that we have to learn how to give up those things that may hurt us, even though we like them, for they can be the cause of all sin and vice. St. Gregory wrote «we should not covet those things that only meet our material and sinful needs». Jesus expects us to be radical. In another part of the Gospel, it is written: «Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it» (Mt 10:39).

On the other hand, Jesus' demand is actually a demand for love and maturity. We shall not remain without our reward. What will make our deeds meaningful must always be our love: we should know how to offer a drink of water to whomever is in need of it, but not because of any personal interest but, simply, out of love. We must discover Jesus in those more needy and poor. Jesus only severely denounces and condemns those who do evil and shock us, those who make the little ones relinquish the infinite goodness and grace of God.

Finally, we all have to overcome the fire proof. It is the fire of love and charity that redeems us from our sins, and gives us the salt that provides that salty good taste to our love, to our service, to our charity. In our prayers and in the Eucharist we, Christians, must find the strength of faith and the salty good taste of Christ. We shall not remain without our reward!