Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Mark (9: 41-50) in which Jesus tells his disciples ‘if anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink just because you belong to Christ… will most will certainly not lose his reward’.

Fr Paul says, in his mind, there has always been a real danger that if we take this Gospel literally then we would all end up being maimed or half blind.  We cannot take this passage literally and what we need to understand, and what Jesus is stressing in this passage, is the absolute value of the Kingdom of God as well as the absolute horror of diverting anyone from it.Therefore, our every action is seen and noticed.  We can never know the extent to which our actions, our example, has encouraged or discouraged others as we try to live out the values of the Kingdom of God. So, Fr Paul says, with what Jesus is trying to stress, we might reflect on these two questions today for our prayer, ‘What kind of example am I setting for others?’ and ‘Is it a Christ-like example?’