The Wednesday Word
Relax and Remember
Set aside 10 -15 minutes and create a suitable environment by removing any distractions. Make sure that you are comfortable. Perhaps light a candle. Make the sign of the cross † and remain still for a minute of settling silence.
Call to mind the love that God has for you.
Remember that through this scripture our Lord is truly present. Then read the Gospel, preferably aloud and slowly, and pay attention to any words that stand out. If any do, meditate on them for a few minutes and be invited into a dialogue with God.
Taken from the Gospel for 26th September 2021 (Mark 9:38-43. 45. 47-48): Helps and Hindrances
John said to Jesus, “Master, we saw a man who is not one of us casting out devils in your name; and because he was not one
of us we tried to stop him.” But Jesus said, “You must not stop him: no one who works a miracle in my name is likely to speak
evil of me. Anyone who is not against us is for us. If anyone gives you a cup of water to drink just because you belong to Christ,
then I tell you solemnly, he will most certainly not lose his reward. But anyone who is an obstacle to bring down one of these little
ones who have faith, would be better thrown into the sea with a great millstone round his neck. And if your hand should cause
you to sin, 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 cannot
be put out. And if your foot should cause you to sin, cut it off; it is better for you to enter into life lame, than to have two feet and
be thrown into hell. And if your eye should cause you to sin, 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 where their worm does not die nor their fire go out.”
After spending a few minutes considering this Gospel, continue by reading Fr Henry Wansbrough’s reflection.
This part of Mark’s Gospel is a collection of sayings about following the Lord, and in this Gospel we are presented with a rich insight into two distinct areas of discipleship. The first little story tells us that we must accept good wherever we can find it, not only in our own group and where we expect it to be. It is the same lesson that is presented in this Sunday’s first reading. The Spirit of God is at work not only in Catholics, not only in Christians, not only even in explicit believers. As the Second Vatican Council taught so strongly, the Holy Spirit is at work too in those who are seeking the Kingdom under signs and symbols. They can even be better people and better Christians than we who sometimes rely too comfortably on our membership of Christ’s Church! Secondly, the gospel provides some striking and urgent sayings about ‘obstacles’, literally trip-stones which makes people fall over. These vivid and dire warnings are about leading other believers into evil and about the trip-stones in ourselves, the disordered desires, that lead us into evil. Jesus’ sayings here must be taken with the utmost seriousness – but not literally (Jesus is speaking graphically to make us listen, and is not advocating self-mutilation!). What are the qualities of the Kingdom that we need to become models of Christ for other peoples?
Dom Henry Wansbrough OSB
Respond and Request
Now slowly and prayerfully read the Gospel once again but this time in silence. Consider how this Gospel could apply to your life in general. Then thank God for any insight you may have received. Conclude by asking God to bless you with one of the following spiritual gifts to help you act on any resolution you have made: love, understanding, wisdom, faithfulness, peace, self control, patience, or joy. Please remember to pray for the Church and particularly our school families. Then conclude by requesting the prayers of Our Lady & St Joseph.
The Wednesday Word is under the patronage of St Joseph,
Patron Saint of Families and Protector of the Church