Jesus instructs St. John to not reject those whose faith in Him is incomplete and reveals the horrific punishment of those who cause others to sin. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Fruits of Peace and Joy so he can joyously invite other Christians to become Catholic and by building the Virtue of Faith so he can always trust that Jesus will purify His priesthood. 

Liturgy

26th Week in Ordinary Time – Sunday – Cycle B – Mk 9:38-43,45,47-48

Commentary

Despite being formed by Jesus, the disciples continue to be confused; Jesus rebukes them for arguing about which of them is the greatest by revealing that those who are great, serve all, including serving lowly children in Jesus’ name.   

John, the youngest of the disciples and called a “Son of Thunder” by Jesus (Mk 3:17), seeks to stifle another man who is casting out demons in the Name of Jesus. John’s troubling reason is that the other exorcist does not follow “us”; this is in contrast to following “Jesus.” John has not yet realized his own smallness, and that all power and glory comes exclusively from Jesus. Jesus rebukes John, saying that all who faithfully perform acts in His Name should not be prevented and will be rewarded. Jesus also confirms the ongoing Spiritual Combat, revealing that that some are “for” and “against” Him. 

Condemning the abuse of children and the vulnerable, Jesus warns the horror of being strangled and drowned with a huge millstone around one’s neck is preferable to the fate of those who cause a” little one” to sin. Jesus confirms the reality of the Kingdom of Heaven and Hell, offering insights into the horrors of Hell which He likens to an “unquenchable fire” and worms which eternally feed on flesh; He warns, Hell is infinitely worse than the agony of gouging out an eye or chopping off a hand or foot.

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Jesus, the perfection of Justice, fiercely condemns sins against the young and calls men to Protect (a part of Justice) the innocent: Divine Judge, Jesus gives a preview of the just horrific punishment that awaits those who corrupt the young; Jesus, using exaggeration to make His point, urges extreme measures (cutting off of hands or feet; gouging out an eye) to avoid corrupting others and the horrific punishment of Hell. Of note, elsewhere (Mt 5:27-30), Jesus explicitly links these types of extreme measures to avoiding sexual sin (Lust). 

Joyfully invite other Christians to become Catholic

Realize: Jesus reveals His Church is “one” and grieves over the great scandal in the world caused by the various Christian churches who are not yet in full communion with His Holy Catholic Church, and cannot receive the saving grace of His sacraments; all those who are received into Heaven will be received into His Holy Catholic Church, for the Church is one and there can be no disunity in Heaven. 

Believe: Reflect upon the reality that The Church is One (CCC 813-822).

Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Fruits of Peace and Joy so I am a beacon of Christ’s love which flows through His Holy Catholic Church, I am led to know how to evangelize non-Catholic Christians, and I invite and help draw others to be in unity and communion with His Holy Catholic Church. 

Have faith that Christ will purify His priesthood

Realize: Disgusted and furious because of the scandalous sexual abuse of boys and young men by some homosexual priests, the growth of homosexuality in the priesthood, and the sickening coverups by some Catholic bishops, the faith of good Catholic men can falter due to failures of chastity, accountability, and justice in the priesthood. 

Believe: Reflect upon God’s frightening justice of Hell (CCC 1033-1037).

Pray: Jesus, Divine Judge, help me remain strong in the Virtue of Faith so I believe in the frightening reality of Your just punishment of the evil, and that You will purify Your priesthood; Lord, protect all children from sexual abuse and raise up holy priests to cleanse Your Church.