Cut It Out

I can hear Jesus laughing as he says: “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off!” How have you read this story over the years? I bet you have only pictured him saying this with a strict look on his face.

You know, in order to get the message across, not everything has to be said with a seriousness that breaks rocks. Sometimes the message settles and is even accepted and understood when it is delivered with a smile and even a laugh. Sometimes those light moments invite dialogue and discussion. There are times that when messages are delivered too heavily, they scare people away instead of drawing them in.

So, how do we communicate with others? How are we in our conversations? Do we speak with others or do we talk to them? Do I say things as if world peace depends on my words? Do I expect others to accept what I say as if their lives depended on it? Do I take myself too seriously when I’m in conversation with others? Do I listen or am I too busy thinking about what I’m going to say next? Am I able to relax in my conversations with others and let the conversations be a real exchange? Am I able to have fun in conversations?

Conversations can be great experiences and so much good can happen when conversations take place in an atmosphere of respect. These moments can give us so much both in the sharing of what we say and in the listening. These are great opportunities when friendships and kinships are strengthened, when we have fun, learn new things, and even be inspired.

So…just picture Jesus smiling and laughing during this great conversation that we hear about in this Sunday’s gospel. Think of the other conversations people had because of this experience with Jesus.

You are in my prayers and in my heart.

-Friar Julio

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