Today’s Gospel Text: 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 round his neck and he were thrown into the sea. 43 And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable 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. 49 For every one will be salted with fire. 50 Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its saltness, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.” Mark 9:41-50
Reflection: The whole issue of Salvation only in Christ Jesus has often confounded theologians and many find it difficult to gulp the Church’s stand or the scriptural truth.
This Salvation in Christ Jesus also accomplished in the world in many ways thorough his holy saints and faithful is another area of contention for those who have rebelled against the Catholic foundation.
In the gospel passage of today we are given an hint in the possible working of the Salvific grace at work in and through the church of God; which is an instrument of salvation to the whole world and also the sacrament of grace:
“Whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ, will by no means lose his reward.” (vs. 41)
Christians have a privileged place in society, not because it is the society that gives them the privilege but God who gives it to us on account of our belief in Jesus or because we bear the name of Jesus and this privilege has to be lived in the same way acknowledging God as the giver and one the who deserves all glory.
If anyone is uncomfortable with this privileged place and instead would like to look at all humanity in the equality sense of the term then they are definitely thieves and robbers among his followers and not expert theologians.
Their crime is to enjoy the privilege of Christianity and the church and whatever they do in his name they do it to promote their own self glory, thus robbing Christ Jesus and stealing his glory from him.
Jesus identifies himself with every individual who bears his name, including the least and the miserably poor among his followers.
Thus Christians are light of the world and also the salt of the earth and in keeping with their special privilege no one can steal that privilege which they enjoy because their privileged position comes from God and their lives entrusted to him.
Jesus always identifies himself with his own and no one can separate them from his love. (cfr. Rom. 8:39; Jn. 13:1, 10: 3-4; Acts 9: 4; 22: 7; 26: 14)
Prayer: Father we thank you for the privilege you have given us to call you Father and also to be called to bear the name of your Son Jesus.