Selfish desires?… Cut them off, says Jesus

June 14, 2019 – Friday 10th Wk in OT

2 Cor 4:7-15; Mt 5:27-32

“If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away… if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away.” – Mt. 5: 29-30

Paul reminds us that each of us is mere earthen vessel or clay jar. Yet, as simple jars made of clay, God blesses us. This reminds us that we are vulnerable and can easily be broken. However, St. Paul also tells us that even though we are suffering, but we are not constrained, we remain free. We might have been persecuted and insulted but we are not abandoned because God remains faithful to us. We may be struck down by our failures and sins but not destroyed because God remains merciful to us.

Human as we are, we fail and sin. However, this is not an excuse not to desire perfection and holiness before God. In fact, the Gospel reminds us to be more aware of our selfish tendencies so that we will be able to respond to the temptations that may come to us.

What Jesus told us in the Gospel is not meant to be understood literally. “If your right eye causes you to sin, then, tear it out and throw it away,” or “if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away” – if this is to be understood literally, then, each of us here will have no eyes and hands or even more than that.

cut it off

Remember, our bodies are also temples of the Holy Spirit, vulnerable like the clay jar but blessed and consecrated by the Holy Spirit. Jesus actually wants us to cut off sin from our system that only separates us from Him and from others.

Thus, if our thoughts are filled with lust and evil thoughts, then, Jesus wants us to stop that, and instead fill our thoughts with God’s word. Read the bible, then.

If our heart is filled with anger and hate, fill it with God’s forgiveness and peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

If our hands remain close to those who need our help, then, open them and express your gratefulness to God by extending help and kindness to people around us.

If our feet remain tangled with fear of taking risks, then, free your feet from fear and take the risk of building close and intimate relationship with others. Go and come nearer to your loved ones, spend more quality time with them.

If our eyes will only tend to see what is ugly, negative and imperfect, then, open our eyes wider to see and realize the beauty of others, the wonders of the world and the goodness of our neighbors.

In this way, then, we lessen our tendency to feed our insatiable desire for self-gratification. We begin to see others rather than ourselves alone. We become more self-giving rather than self-serving.

This will allow us to deepen our relationships, whether in marriage, or in the context of a family with children, or among friends and colleagues.

Indeed, Jesus calls us to become persons not driven by selfish desires, but to become persons driven by the desire to love and to give one self for others, like Mary, the mother of our Lord. Mary is a person who truly desires to love give herself for God and for others Hinaut pa.

 

Jom Baring, CSsR

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