Fire and Ice 10

Just another Sunday Gospel Reflection…
Gehenna, a millstone, or a cup of cold water…

Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice. — Robert Frost

Still others say, the world will end with Christ.

I believe that Christ’s message today is all about attitude. Like the Apostle John, when it comes to attitude, most of us are either hot or cold. We fail to see, sometimes, that coldness can be just as big a threat to the good of our souls as hot-headed anger. The hurt that sins of negligence and omission cause others can lead them to sin. The burden of the grudges we bear sometimes can be heavier than a millstone bearing down on our own neck. If we learn from Christ, we can lighten that burden.

“If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out!”

On hearing these words, we tend to think of sins of greed and lust, while we might be overlooking our sins of blindness. Hardness of heart toward others, failure to forgive, bearing tough grudges — is there someone in your life you’ve been giving the cold shoulder? Perhaps he or she needs a cup of cold water, from you.

Whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me. – Matthew 25:40

[Photo Credit: http://www.josephrossbach.com]

10 comments

  1. I have found “unforgiveness” in my life was like a cancer, eating away at my soul, my life, my happiness and my love. The “hate” it produces is will eat away your entire being. How much better it is to “forgive” quickly and live in the peace God has prepared for us in doing so. Loved this post! God Bless, SR

    • Thanks, SR. I believe Jesus allows us to have this experience for a good reason.

      “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.” — Revelation 3:20

      Who could possibly refuse?

      Why does this passage come to mind? Forgive me for mixing metaphors here, but….

      Hearts are like parachutes. They only do what they are meant to do when they are open.

      Jesus, you don’t need to knock. Here is the key to my heart. If my door is closed, because I have trouble forgiving someone, please, come in and remind me of the gift of forgiveness. Remind me that I need to forgive and forgive me… You know that I know not what I do sometimes.

  2. Very well said. Sins of omission are as damaging to our souls and the souls of others as sins of commission. A challenging and timely word as always! God bless!

    • Thanks, Ivan. Above all things, we need to recall that Christ’s greatest gifts, after the give of calling us to life, are his love, mercy, and forgiveness. Imitators of Christ must follow the Lord in giving others this example.

  3. I know from experience that anger eats away at a person. It makes you miserable. When I took that step to forgive a certain peace came upon me. When you don’t forgive it hurts you much worse than the person you’re angry at. And I don’t think you necessarily have to forgive all at once. It can be a process. I felt a huge weight lift off of me a few times as I was going through this process. I think even with forgiving when you don’t want to and your heart isn’t in it can be like faking it til you make it. Even when a person may not internalize their forgiving of another after doing so for so long it will reach their hearts eventually.

    • When our Lord’s decipels ask him to teach us to pray, he told them to pray, “… Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” It makes that when we forgive from the heart, we should feel the grace of God flow into our hearts immediately, and gradually more and more so the more we learn to forgive. Peace is the sign that we are in God’s grace.

      Thanks, Teresa, and God bless you!

  4. “On hearing these words, we tend to think of sins of greed and lust, while we might be overlooking our sins of blindness. ” So true!! Do we see and hear the pain around us? Do we respond or look away?

    • Again, I think Christ’s message to his Apostles (and to us) on this occasion needs to be considered in conjunction with Matthew 25. Let us not be the ones in the end who end up asking, “When did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or naked, or in prison, and did not take care of you?” Instead, let us love Him more dearly in our brothers and sisters and follow him more nearly by serving those in need, as He taught us to do. Thank you for your comment, Gracie!

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