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Friday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

My dear encountered couples:

Jesus can really sound frightening sometimes. If a part of our body plays such a strong role in leading us into sin and finally hell, he tells us to cut it off, gouge it out, throw it away. Nothing is worth keeping if it leads us to hell.

Maybe we do not take him literally. But we had better take him seriously. Hell is fictionalized and laughed at. It is not a fiction - it is a reality - and it is nothing to laugh at. Maybe the way comedians characterize hell is far from the reality of it and in that way laughable, but what Jesus is warning us of is no joke.

Some say it is easier to believe in hell than in heaven because we seem to be more aware of the miseries we experience on earth than we are of the good things. But no one on this earth experiences the hell Jesus is talking about: the absence of all that can be considered good. We need to take it on faith that we never want to find out what hell is really like.

If there is anything in your life that you find yourself so addicted to that it keeps you from loving God and people, avoid it or get rid of it. Whether it is a person, a place, or a thing that makes of you a slave to sin, remove yourself or it from your presence.

If it is a person leading you to sin and talking does no good, avoid that person. If it is a place that seems to take hold of you, get away, stay away from it. If it is a thing, get rid of it.

Jesus warns you. He loves you. Listen to him!

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