Jesus tells his disciples to cut off their hands if these cause them to sin. We may wonder why Jesus is so harsh in his recommendations. Is there no other way to stop committing sin? When it comes to sinning especially giving scandal, Jesus gives no concessions. He wants to excise all causes of scandals. Scandals are grave offenses not only to God but also to the community. Scandals frustrate God’s plan to have the flock grow. In the early years of Christianity, the old members took care of the new members like precious treasures. The neophytes would have fresh ideas; they would replace the old retiring members. Scandal is the opposite of a good example. As scandal is such a despicable sin so a good example can be a tremendous force for good. Thus Jesus says He will reward those who give even a cup of cold water.
In the First Reading, the community of Israel in the desert grapples with the problem of new leadership. The old guards try to disqualify the new ones. They are not aware that God has given the latter God’s spirit to lead. In the Second Reading, James warns the rich about their excesses. They will be punished severely. Their lifestyle has turned off some members of the community. Most members of our church organizations and religious congregations are aging. The hope for new members looks bleak. We can attribute this to how the elder members handle the new recruits. Instead of drawing more members, they turn them away. Giving scandal is not only being inconsistent with the ideals of the group, but also treating others shabbily. These new ones are treated as slaves and are not given importance. This attitude condemns their group to death.
#61. An Anecdote from a Rich Reward for a cup of water. A soldier of Alexander the Great was driving a heavily laden mule to the royal tent. The soldier, seeing the burden was too great for the mule, took a bag from its back and carried it on his own shoulders. Alexander chanced to see the act, and was so pleased that he called the soldier over and said to him, “That bag which you have on your shoulders is filled with gold. Take it as a gift from me. It is yours, you deserve it.” Moral Lesson: When Alexander, the mortal human king could appreciate the kindness shown to a beast and reward the soldier so richly, what will be the Eternal King’s reward for the kindness we do to the least of our brothers and sisters in need in our present time?
In this first week of October, we celebrate important feasts of many great saints; on the 1st, the memorial of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, on the 2nd, the feast of our Guardian Angels, on the 4th, the memorial of St. Francis of Assisi, on the 5th, the optional memorial of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos, and the First Friday Devotion to the Sacred Heart, on the 6th, the optional memorial of St. Bruno, and Blessed Marie Rose Durocher and First Saturday Devotion Mass at 9AM for our adorers and the devotees of Our Lady of Fatima. Please pray for our safe trip to the Pilgrimage to Lourdes and Medjugorje in the 12 days. This is for now, watch for the next bulletin. God Bless!
Your Priest-Servant and Parochial Administrator,