Twenty-sixth Sunday B in Ordinary Time

In the Slovak film Warn! is a scene where the protagonist slips a leg in a wooden trough, after which the lumberjacks lower the wood into the valley. The leg will squat, and they can’t pull it out. From the hill you hear the call: “Warn the soul in the valley!” The loggers signal that everyone leaves the gutter. Even if the painful shout “no!” I heard from below; the already running wood cannot be stopped. Wood will certainly kill a man. Then a friend jumps in, cuts off his crossed leg with an ax, and pulls out of the trough a man who has fainted just as he flies past the wood at high speed. The man is saved but remains a disabled person.

In today’s Gospel, we hear the call of the Lord Jesus: “If your hand,. with both feet, with both eyes … to hell, where the worm does not die and the fire does not go out” (cf. Mk 9: 43-45).

The fact that these words are figurative speech must not lead to a weakening of their immense seriousness. Jesus does not mean any external mutilation that would not help anything anyway because it would keep the evil heart intact. The images with the hand, foot and eye emphasize the seriousness of the fight, which must be ruthlessly embarked on. Undoubtedly, this is such a serious matter that a war against oneself is required. We are all the more aware of the meaning of Jesus’ words when we know how much He loves sick people. In his words and deeds we see him as a Teacher who does not joke, but teaches clearly and intelligibly about man’s salvation. His words must not be manipulated. That is why we have to uncover the depth of words that are to bring a rich harvest. And all the more so when we feel the meaning of Jesus’ warning, even though the words are difficult for us to hear. As we believe in God’s kingdom, where God has prepared us a place for all eternity, we become all the more aware of the meaning of the warning contained in these words. When we believe in reward and punishment, we realize that we are decisively and freely deciding what will follow our death.
Jesus did not recall a comma from what he said. He said, “If your hand deceives you in sin, cut it off … if your foot seduces you, cut it off … and if your eye seduces you into sin, pluck it out” (Mark 9: 43,45,47). Although it is difficult to hear and even more challenging to do, one may speak of cruelty and barbarism; we still realize it is a remembrance. For example, someone gets cancer. If doctors want to save a patient’s life, they often amputate a leg, an arm … Then we don’t say no, but we realize that if they want to save a patient, it is necessary to sacrifice an arm or a leg. And this is a temporary life on earth. Will life be extended by a year, ten years? Jesus’ words point to eternal life. Life without end, life without pain, disease, death.
Words about “seduction” or “outrage” may sound harsh for our taste and may evoke the idea of ​​bigotry, and yet when Jesus says so, words need to be heeded. If we have no problem accepting other terms of Jesus that do not apply to us today, it is necessary to realize the impact of words on life. Taking Jesus’s observations of a seductive hand, afoot, and a hot eye as sin must be accepted and acknowledged with all strength and determination. After all, it is a sin. One can hear that someone is objecting in the spirit that we are still human, and sin will always be in our lives and would be strange if it were not so. Yes, we are human, and so we are sick. That’s human. But is that a reason not to notice our diseases, not to treat them, cultivate them? After all, no one who is seriously ill will do such nonsense or promote it. And even a healthy person will not cause the disease because he knows that even a minor illness can cause more severe health problems. And precisely because we can reasonably think about the pain and illness of our body, it is necessary to pay more and more attention to and prevention of the health of our soul. The body is temporary, but the soul forever. Sin is not only something that harms this world.
Yet, we are to pass from this life to eternal life. And outrage, temptation, and sin are precisely what leads us from this path, which more or less leads us elsewhere than to the fullness of life with God. And when we remain in sin, when we succumb to temptation, when we cannot resist seduction, we close the gate of eternal life. Therefore, words about removing the hand, foot, or peeling of the eye are in place. We are more aware of absolute values ​​than false ones. It is necessary to decide on things eternal. To prefer friendship with God to fellowship with sin.

We should realize how our divine surgeon, Jesus, is doing. We bear the difficulties of his consent, and these are for our good—mortality, restraint, self-control. If we do this with the knowledge that God’s will, we receive strengths, graces and grow in love for God. They help us get rid of mistakes, bad habits and increase in resistance to sin. It’s good that we know what we want. If you don’t see what you want, you will quickly end up where you don’t want to.
The tale of the goldfish says that one day it went out into the world. She took her six crowns and went to look for happiness. She didn’t even have to swim too far and met the trout, who asked her, “Where are you headed, fish?” “I’m swimming and looking for happiness,” the goldfish replied. “You’re lucky,” said the trout. “For only four crowns, you can buy this beautiful fin, which will swim twice as fast.” “It’s a great buy,” said the goldfish. She paid, put on her fin, and swam twice as fast as before. After a while, he got to the place where the big Sepia used to be. The goldfish immediately called out, “Goldfish, where do you plan to swim?” “I’m looking for luck,” the goldfish replied. “You just found him, little one,” Sepia said. “Look, there’s a motorbike. You can use it to swim even faster. I’ll sell it to you for less. ” The goldfish bought a motorbike for the remaining money and swam faster. Before long, she met a shark. He called to the fish, “Fish, where are you going?” “I’m looking for luck,” the goldfish replied. “You just found him. Use this shortcut, “said the shark, pointing to his wide-open mouth. “Then you’ll be there much faster.” “Thank you!” Cried the goldfish, swimming into the shark’s jaws.
Jesus warns us against false happiness. God created our eyes, hands, and feet to receive an eternal reward, not eternal punishment. Although we have to resist the temptations of sin often and hard on the road, with Jesus, our goal is specific.

In the movie Warn! The man lost his leg, but his life was saved. In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells us about saving eternal life for us.

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