“Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna” – Mark 9:47
There is an aim in life worth any sacrifice to attain it. And the ultimate aim of every human soul is to become a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven. This is only possible through doing the will of God.
A couple of ways this passage can be applied:
- if a member of the community (this can mean the faith community, a relationship or within the family) consciously chooses to live in a way that is not obedient to God and His teachings, that person needs to be separated from the community for the sake (physical/moral safety) of the whole body.
- if a person has a habit that leads away from God’s will, they must cut out that pleasure, that friendship or that other thing that has become important to them if they hope to be obedient to God and worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Deeply rooted habits become a part of the person. When we find in us a desire to change, it can almost feel like a physical gouging out a part of our body. It is not without discomfort and pain. It costs us dearly.
The Church in its wisdom gives us the season of lent as a time of ‘taking stock’ of our relationship with God. It is a time for us to look at our way of living and ask ourselves, is this habit, activity, or lifestyle aligned with God’s plan? Or, does it keep me from perfect obedience to God’s divine will?
To live lent well by ‘giving up’ something, let us not focus on superfluous things but rather, let our focus be on those areas of our lives that have a lasting impact on the state of our souls. Let us bring that area of our life to God in repentance, and receive the grace to let it go, and find our consolation in our communion with the One who made us.
May God Bless you.