I want to take a moment to comment on the second part of Sunday’s Gospel that I didn’t discuss during the homily.
Jesus says if your hand causes us to sin, cut it off. If you foot causes you to sin, cut it off. If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out!
This sounds extreme. It’s pretty drastic action that will affect the rest of our life if we do this. “The rest of our life” but wait, Jesus says we must take this drastic action so that we might “enter into life.” He’s referring to eternal life. If we sin, eternal life in Heaven is not available to us (except for the forgiveness won for us by Jesus on the Cross). It is eternal life that we seek in faith.
As to cutting off our hand or foot, think about it. Jesus says if you hand/foot/eye causes you to sin, get rid of it. Does your hand, foot, or eye cause you to sin?
Our hand, foot, or eye do not control us. They might be an instrument of sin. We use them to commit sins but they do not cause us to sin.
What Jesus is trying to tell us is that we must reflect on what causes us to sin and then get rid of it. In the Act of Contrition we say during the Sacrament of Reconciliation generally there is a line where we promise to avoid the occasion of sin. Often, after people confess their sins, I ask them what caused them to do this to help them find a way to avoid the sin in the future.
What causes you to sin? What do you need to get rid of?