Gospel of Mark 9:38-43. 45. 47-48
Anyone who is not against us is for us.
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.’
Jesus’ dramatic language has an impact. The consequences of not loving each other are too awful to contemplate. There is no life in these consequences. I don’t think he is offering us a choice. It seems very clear that the meaning of life is that we are one, and that means we need to love each other.
Jesus gives insight into committing our whole selves into this mission of loving. What we do with our bodies must express this realisation that we are all in loving communion with him.
We are inextricably linked as we are made by love for love.
He gives examples of how in this Gospel such as living together, working together, caring for each other, sharing water to drink and hospitality. In all this we must never be “cut off” from each other.
It is World Day of Migrants and Refugees today. Pope Francis shares his message ‘towards an ever wider ‘we’.’
We pray especially for asylum seekers and refugees, that together we may share loving acceptance and hospitality with each other and make all places loving homes.