Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God…

Published February 24, 2022, 12:05 AM

by Manila Bulletin


Jesus often uses the image of a child or “little one” for one who accepts the Kingdom of heaven. To welcome the “little ones” is to exercise service and receptivity to those who are close to Jesus. To “cause them to sin” (Greek skandalisē) is to commit a most grievous offense. To cause “scandal” is to lead a person to lose faith in Jesus. The image of casting a person into the sea with a millstone around his neck speaks of total annihilation. 

To avoid causing the little ones to sin, one should be ready to cut off or cast away parts of the body that may cause it. One is better to enter into life maimed than to suffer in the unquenchable fire of Gehenna. This is not about maiming but having the unsurpassable blessing of life — life with God. This life is more important than the most important parts of our body. It is better to have this life even without a hand, a foot, or an eye, than to lose the opportunity to have this life and be annihilated. Jesus’ sayings are a strong affirmation of the life he offers, at whatever cost.

Gospel • MARK 9:41-50

Jesus said to his disciples, “Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward. 

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe [in me] to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life crippled than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. Better for you to enter into the Kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched. 

“Everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good, but if salt becomes insipid, with what will you restore its flavor? Keep salt in yourselves and you will have peace with one another.”

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2022,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: