It is 23rd February 2017. We have the memorial of St Polycarp, Bishop and the Martyr. The readings are from Sir. 5:1-8; and the Gospel from Mark 9:41-50. The first reading very blunt in telling us that we cannot add sin after sin believing God’s mercy would forgive and make us clean. And we must be on guard about our false security comes from the riches and wealth. We must not be overconfident about the forgiveness of our sins and the reliance on our wealth. Let us make every effort to return to the Lord as early as possible. To be complacent with our spiritual life will make us sin gradually and casually. We cannot place our trust in money, power and status. We must not give our hearts to money and power rather to the Lord. Money, power and influence invades the sacred space for God. The attitude of relying on money and wealth leads us to pride, superiority and all-knowing mentality. God wants us to return to God because God is serious about our sinful living. God’s patience and mercy must not give us a false hope that we can go on sinning. As we abuse the riches God given for our sinful actions, so our constant sins hurt the ever-loving and ever-forgiving Heart of God. We need to remind ourselves that God’s blazing anger could fall on us if we are thoughtless and imprudent in returning to the Lord. Grace and mercy of God cannot be taken for granted with our persistent attitude to sinful living. The responsorial Psalm praises, “Happy the person who has placed the trust in the Lord.” (Ps.39:5). The Gospel teaches us that we need to care for the others by all means. We have the freedom and so the responsibility to serve. We have the power and privilege to serve the vulnerable howsoever weak and small we could feel. We all can make a difference in a small way possibly. Harming or intend to hurt others is a sin. Whatever we do we must do it out of love not by choice. We must never choose to serve a group of people just because they promote us and favour us. We must never become a stumbling block for the happiness and peace of the others. Our faith must match our actions. Our going to Heaven or Hell depends on the faith in the Lord Jesus and eventually how it is displayed in our daily living with one another especially the most vulnerable of the society. We need to counteract the opposing Gospel values by our charitable living. “For every one will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.” (Mk.9:49,50). Holiness is the preservative power of our Christian living, if we lose it then what can bring about holiness back. Let us be reconciled with God and with one another to keep the saltiness of our Christian living. May you have a good day.

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