If you were to make a list of sayings of Jesus that you wished were NOT in the Gospel, probably you would select some of the lines from this one today! If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off … And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off … and if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. We know Jesus was not talking literally because just a few passages earlier, he taught his disciples that it was what was in the heart that caused sin, not hands that might have picked grain on the sabbath or did not get ritually washed before eating. Those who listened to Mark’s words might have understood this passage as talking about community. Paul had taught the first Christian communities that we are all different parts of one body of Christ. Sometimes individuals behave in ways that harm the body, and so they need to be “cut out.” Sadly, this does happen in communities, in families, in the work place, and it is a very painful situation. Perhaps it has happened to you. We are called to be forgiving, but that does not mean being victimized by harmful choices that the “hand” or “foot” or “eye” is making. And finally, is my behavior helping my community? Am I a good hand or foot or eye?
– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia
This is a very beautiful reflection.It’s beauty lies in that part that you have mentioned, that is forgiveness. When Jesus healed people, he always told them, go and sin no more. The challenge to me as a flower of Christ, is, am i ready to forgive or ready to avoid all occasions of sin? To me, by avoiding the occasions of sin to me means, cutting my leg which takes me to that place, or avoid looking with my eyes those things which will bring me to sin. By the guidance of the Holy Spirit, i will make it.