September 27, 2009

How to Get to Heaven

In today's Gospel reading (Mk 9:38-43, 45, 47-48), Jesus spells out some clear rules for us to follow if we want to get to Heaven. And we should all want to get to Heaven; that is our purpose. That is the meaning of life (not that hard to figure out, huh?).
Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward. "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe (in me) to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea.
Bishop Fulton Sheen once said that the surest way to Heaven is to take someone with you. It seems that Jesus is warning us here that, in contrast, a sure way to lose Heaven is to hold someone else back from it.

What do we do to fulfill our purpose and be with God forever? Serve others. Serve them in positive ways by providing for their needs, physical and spiritual. And serve them in negative ways by avoiding sin, which affects us all.

Jesus never said the gesture must be large. In fact, His example is very simple - giving a glass of water. Find a way to serve Christ through someone today.\

Consider, too, in what ways your words and actions causes others to sin. Did you anger someone by cutting them off in traffic? Were you rude or impatient? Did you raise your voice? Did you enable someone else's sin by giving aid, money, or even your silence?
From willful sins keep your servant; let them never control me. Then shall I be blameless, innocent of grave sin. Let the words of my mouth meet with your favor, keep the thoughts of my heart before you, LORD, my rock and my redeemer. (Ps 19:14-15)

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