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Day 158 – The Reality of Sin


Thoughts and Reflection

Today in the readings we learn about the Transfiguration. Moses and Elijah represent the Old Covenant. Jesus shows us that he is not just another leader or prophet and all of humanity will judge him. The apostles argue about which of them is the greatest. Jesus teaches them that anyone who wants to be first must be the last and the servant of all.

Jesus also has some other key teachings. To those who deny the existence of hell, Jesus makes it clear that it is real and by our actions, we may go there. Jesus later uses a metaphor in “if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off” to mean that we must do whatever we must to get rid of whatever causes us to sin. Jesus also makes clear that divorce and remarriage are not part of God’s plan. When a rich young man approaches Jesus and asks him what he must do to inherit eternal life, Jesus responds that he must sell all that he has, give to the poor, and follow him.

Reflect on these teachings. Which ones seem difficult or overwhelming?

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

Daily Readings

Mark 9

1 And he said to them, ‘In truth I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of Godcome with power.’

2 Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain on their own by themselves. There in their presence he was transfigured:

3 his clothes became brilliantly white, whiter than any earthly bleacher could make them.

4 Elijah appeared to them with Moses; and they were talking to Jesus.

5 Then Peter spoke to Jesus, ‘Rabbi,’ he said, ‘it is wonderful for us to be here; so let us make three shelters, one for you, one for Mosesand one for Elijah.’

6 He did not know what to say; they were so frightened.

7 And a cloud came, covering them in shadow; and from the cloud there came a voice, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved. Listen to him.’

8 Then suddenly, when they looked round, they saw no one with them any more but only Jesus.

9 As they were coming down from the mountain he warned them to tell no one what they had seen, until after the Son of man had risen from the dead.

10 They observed the warning faithfully, though among themselves they discussed what ‘rising from the dead’ could mean.

11 And they put this question to him, ‘Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?’

12 He said to them, ‘Elijah is indeed first coming to set everything right again; yet how is it that the scriptures say about the Son of manthat he must suffer grievously and be treated with contempt?

13 But I tell you that Elijah has come and they have treated him as they pleased, just as the scriptures say about him.’

14 As they were rejoining the disciples they saw a large crowd round them and some scribes arguing with them.

15 At once, when they saw him, the whole crowd were struck with amazement and ran to greet him.

16 And he asked them, ‘What are you arguing about with them?’

17 A man answered him from the crowd, ‘Master, I have brought my son to you; there is a spirit of dumbness in him,

18 and when it takes hold of him it throws him to the ground, and he foams at the mouth and grinds his teeth and goes rigid. And I asked your disciples to drive it out and they were unable to.’

19 In reply he said to them, ‘Faithless generation, how much longer must I be among you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me.’

20 They brought the boy to him, and at once the spirit of dumbness threw the boy into convulsions, and he fell to the ground and lay writhing there, foaming at the mouth.

21 Jesus asked the father, ‘How long has this been happening to him?’ ‘From childhood,’ he said,

22 ‘and it has often thrown him into fire and into water, in order to destroy him.

23 But if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us.’

24 ‘If you can?’ retorted Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for one who has faith.’ At once the father of the boy cried out, ‘I have faith. Help my lack of faith!’

25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd was gathering, he rebuked the unclean spirit. ‘Deaf and dumb spirit,’ he said, ‘I command you: come out of him and never enter him again.’

26 Then it threw the boy into violent convulsions and came out shouting, and the boy lay there so like a corpse that most of them said, ‘He is dead.’

27 But Jesus took him by the hand and helped him up, and he was able to stand.

28 When he had gone indoors, his disciples asked him when they were by themselves, ‘Why were we unable to drive it out?’

29 He answered, ‘This is the kind that can be driven out only by prayer.’

30 After leaving that place they made their way through Galilee; and he did not want anyone to know,

31 because he was instructing his disciples; he was telling them, ‘The Son of man will be delivered into the power of men; they will put him to death; and three days after he has been put to death he will rise again.’

32 But they did not understand what he said and were afraid to ask him.

33 They came to Capernaum, and when he got into the house he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the road?’

34 They said nothing, because on the road they had been arguing which of them was the greatest.

35 So he sat down, called the Twelve to him and said, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all.’

36 He then took a little child whom he set among them and embraced, and he said to them,

37 ‘Anyone who welcomes a little child such as this in my name, welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me, welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’

38 John said to him, ‘Master, we saw someone who is not one of us driving out devils in your name, and because he was not one of us we tried to stop him.’

39 But Jesus said, ‘You must not stop him; no one who works a miracle in my name could soon afterwards speak evil of me.

40 Anyone who is not against us is for us.

41 ‘If anyone gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, then in truth I tell you, he will most certainly not lose his reward.

42 ‘But anyone who is the downfall of one of these little ones who have faith, would be better thrown into the sea with a great millstone hung round his neck.

43 And if your hand should be your downfall, cut it off; it is better for you to enter into life crippled, than to have two hands and go to hell, into the fire that can never be put out.

44

45 And if your foot should be your downfall, cut it off; it is better for you enter into life lame, than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.

46

47 And if your eye should be your downfall, tear it out; it is better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell

48 where their worm will never die nor their fire be put out.

49 For everyone will be salted with fire.

50 Salt is a good thing, but if salt has become insipid, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another.’

Mark 10

1 After leaving there, he came into the territory of Judaea and Transjordan. And again crowds gathered round him, and again he taught them, as his custom was.

2 Some Pharisees approached him and asked, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?’ They were putting him to the test.

3 He answered them, ‘What did Moses command you?’

4 They replied, ‘Moses allowed us to draw up a writ of dismissal in cases of divorce.’

5 Then Jesus said to them, ‘It was because you were so hard hearted that he wrote this commandment for you.

6 But from the beginning of creation he made them male and female.

7 This is why a man leaves his father and mother,

8 and the two become one flesh. They are no longer two, therefore, but one flesh.

9 So then, what God has united, human beings must not divide.’

10 Back in the house the disciples questioned him again about this,

11 and he said to them, ‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another is guilty of adultery against her.

12 And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another she is guilty of adultery too.’

13 People were bringing little children to him, for him to touch them. The disciples scolded them,

14 but when Jesus saw this he was indignant and said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.

15 In truth I tell you, anyone who does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’

16 Then he embraced them, laid his hands on them and gave them his blessing.

17 He was setting out on a journey when a man ran up, knelt before him and put this question to him, ‘Good master, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’

18 Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.

19 You know the commandments: You shall not kill; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not give false witness; You shall not defraud; Honour your father and mother.’

20 And he said to him, ‘Master, I have kept all these since my earliest days.’

21 Jesus looked steadily at him and he was filled with love for him, and he said, ‘You need to do one thing more. Go and sell what you own and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’

22 But his face fell at these words and he went away sad, for he was a man of great wealth.

23 Jesus looked round and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!’

24 The disciples were astounded by these words, but Jesus insisted, ‘My children,’ he said to them, ‘how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!

25 It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for someone rich to enter the kingdom of God.’

26 They were more astonished than ever, saying to one another, ‘In that case, who can be saved?’

27 Jesus gazed at them and said, ‘By human resources it is impossible, but not for God: because for God everything is possible.’

28 Peter took this up. ‘Look,’ he said to him, ‘we have left everything and followed you.’

29 Jesus said, ‘In truth I tell you, there is no one who has left house, brothers, sisters, mother, father, children or land for my sake and for the sake of the gospel

30 who will not receive a hundred times as much, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and land — and persecutions too — now in this present time and, in the world to come, eternal life.

31 Many who are first will be last, and the last, first.’

32 They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem; Jesus was walking on ahead of them; they were in a daze, and those who followed were apprehensive. Once more taking the Twelve aside he began to tell them what was going to happen to him,

33 ‘Now we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man is about to be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes. They willcondemn him to death and will hand him over to the gentiles,

34 who will mock him and spit at him and scourge him and put him to death; and after three days he will rise again.’

35 James and John, the sons of Zebedee, approached him. ‘Master,’ they said to him, ‘We want you to do us a favour.’

36 He said to them, ‘What is it you want me to do for you?’

37 They said to him, ‘Allow us to sit one at your right hand and the other at your left in your glory.’

38 But Jesus said to them, ‘You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the cup that I shall drink, or be baptised with the baptism with which I shall be baptised?’

39 They replied, ‘We can.’ Jesus said to them, ‘The cup that I shall drink you shall drink, and with the baptism with which I shall be baptised you shall be baptised,

40 but as for seats at my right hand or my left, these are not mine to grant; they belong to those to whom they have been allotted.’

41 When the other ten heard this they began to feel indignant with James and John,

42 so Jesus called them to him and said to them, ‘You know that among the gentiles those they call their rulers lord it over them, and their great men make their authority felt.

43 Among you this is not to happen. No; anyone who wants to become great among you must be your servant,

44 and anyone who wants to be first among you must be slave to all.

45 For the Son of man himself came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’

46 They reached Jericho; and as he left Jericho with his disciples and a great crowd, Bartimaeus — that is, the son of Timaeus — a blind beggar, was sitting at the side of the road.

47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout and cry out, ‘Son of David, Jesus, have pity on me.’

48 And many of them scolded him and told him to keep quiet, but he only shouted all the louder, ‘Son of David, have pity on me.’

49 Jesus stopped and said, ‘Call him here.’ So they called the blind man over. ‘Courage,’ they said, ‘get up; he is calling you.’

50 So throwing off his cloak, he jumped up and went to Jesus.

51 Then Jesus spoke, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ The blind man said to him, ‘Rabbuni, let me see again.’

52 Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your faith has saved you.’ And at once his sight returned and he followed him along the road.

Psalm 29

1 [Psalm Of David] Give Yahweh his due, sons of God, give Yahweh his due of glory and strength,

2 give Yahweh the glory due to his name, adore Yahweh in the splendour of holiness.

3 Yahweh’s voice over the waters, the God of glory thunders; Yahweh over countless waters,

4 Yahweh’s voice in power, Yahweh’s voice in splendour;

5 Yahweh’s voice shatters cedars, Yahweh shatters cedars of Lebanon,

6 he makes Lebanon skip like a calf, Sirion like a young wild ox.

7 Yahweh’s voice carves out lightning-shafts,

8 Yahweh’s voice convulses the desert, Yahweh convulses the desert of Kadesh,

9 Yahweh’s voice convulses terebinths, strips forests bare. In his palace all cry, ‘Glory!’

10 Yahweh was enthroned for the flood, Yahweh is enthroned as king for ever.

11 Yahweh will give strength to his people, Yahweh blesses his people with peace.


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