Jesus said: If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better to enter the Kingdom blind than to be cast into the everlasting flame where there is much weeping and gnashing of teeth. If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better to enter the Kingdom maimed than to be cast into the everlasting fire.
Many have said: Jesus is using hyperbole. That He is “going over the top to illustrate a point”.
To this I say: Hyperbole? Methinks not.
Jesus is saying precisely what He intends to say.
However, when Jesus talks about what defiles a man, He does not say it is one’s eye or hand; He makes clear a couple of things: 1. the cause of sin is never the object. 2. no enticement of the eye or opportunity of the hand is the cause of sin. Jesus says a man falls from the corruption in his heart from whence comes all manner of adultery, greed, gossip, theft, murder, etc..
What is more, even a heart that has evicted a demon and been swept clean is left empty and longing. With what will it be filled? Enter seven more demons such as pride, honour, power, gluttony, lust, this bauble, that trinket. How many demons can an empty heart house, but if you fill your heart with God, your heart will overflow with love, compassion, devotion, wisdom, and mercy. Your heart will be filled, your mind will be filled, your entire body will be filled with grace in generous measure, packed down, and overflowing.
Hyperbole? Methinks Not.
Trying not to be morbid or disrespectful, consider having cancer or gangrene. What might you be willing to sacrifice in terms of body through surgical removal, chemo-therapy, and/or radiation treatment in order to gain a few more months or years on this beautiful Earth? Now assuming you, dear reader, believe in God and in God’s promise that those who love Him and follow His Will will be united to Him in Heaven; and assuming you believe in an eternal Hell where there is much weeping and gnashing of teeth, I ask you: will you retain an eye or a hand that would cause you to sin in this life and risk eternal damnation? Do you believe in Hell? Was Jesus serious when He indicated the penalty of sin is death?
Lord! That redemption and eternity in paradise might be purchased so cheaply! Merely an eye or a hand or even both to share in God’s glory with Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and all the saints beyond forever in eternity!
Hyperbole? Methinks not!
Let us pray:
Lord we beg thee, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, that we follow the wisdom of the greatest Commandment and love You with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind. That we be bold enough to sacrifice even our very being to keep Your commandments and to carry out Your Will. Teach us Lord that no possession, not even our own body is worth offending You and risking eternity apart from You. We are yours Lord, our hearts are made for You and will remain ever restless until they rest in You.
May Almighty God bless you, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
(C) Copyright 13 November 2018