These are not my words but the words of a very respected priest, who says it a lot better than i could. ENjoy
"In the second half of the passage, we find a miscellaneous collection of sayings that call for a stance of self-criticism. The disciples are directed to reflect on their own style of life and ministry. Do any of their words or actions serve as stumbling blocks for the children of the Church? Mark uses words of Jesus against scandal and the misuse of one’s hands, eyes and feet. Jesus does not mandate mutilation. He has a typically Semitic way of speaking – graphic, vivid, even exaggerated. Nothing, no one comes before Christ. Jesus’ command to “cut it off” is not mutilation, but rather an invitation to liberation. It liberates us to love without reservation, not trapped in the self-love where everything and perhaps everyone, even God, himself, must revolve around me. The fascinating paradox of this story is this: The more we focus on the God who lives in us, on the people God cherishes in a special way because they are more needy, and on the earth that God saw as being “very good” (Genesis 1:31), the richer will be our delight in ourselves. Human life is a matter of relationships: with God, with people, with earth.
Despite its disjointedness, today’s Gospel passage provides a strong antidote to the ever-present temptation to over-estimate one’s own position as the chosen of God. Human nature tends to be judgmental. Sometimes our inclination to judge results in elitism, concluding that others are not worthy of our company. We make difficulties, not thinking of others but blindly plunging ahead with feet, hands and eyes. We ignore God’s consecration of our hands to work, of our eyes to perceive, and of our feet to walk God’s special ways. We reject others as outsiders, foreign to our own ranks and status in life. Instead of questioning the validity of other active and perhaps successful groups, we are reminded in graphic fashion of the importance of self-criticism and humility.
A final thought on humility
Jesus said, “learn from me, for I am gentle, and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:29). Most of the saints prayed for and manifested humility in their lives. Many of us live in societies and cultures that value self-promotion of worth, assertiveness, competitiveness, communicating our accomplishments if we wish to get anywhere and make a difference.
The virtue of humility is a quality by which a person considering his or her own defects has a lowly opinion of himself and willingly submits himself or herself to God and to others for God’s sake. How can we strike a balance between being humble and meek, and assertive enough to succeed in the world today? Or do we need to sacrifice one for the other? In living just and upright lives, we can do a good job as a humble leader, but that is different from been able to succeed and being placed in greater positions of responsibility.
Mother Cabrini’s humility
When I was growing up in an Italian-American household, we often heard stories of the saints and blesseds from my grandparents and parents. Two Italians, of course, were at the top of the list: Mother Cabrini and Padre Pio. St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850 – 1917) was the first American citizen to be canonized by the Church. As a child, Mother Cabrini’s prayer for humility was given to us and I have kept it ever since in my Bible. The life of Mother Cabrini and the words of this prayer embody many of the thoughts found in today’s Scripture readings.
“Lord Jesus Christ, I pray that you may fortify me with the grace of your Holy Spirit, and give your peace to my soul, that I may be free from all needless anxiety and worry. Help me to desire always that which is pleasing and acceptable to you, so that your will may be my will.
“Grant that I may be free from unholy desires, and that, for your love, I may remain obscure and unknown in this world, to be known only to you.
“Do not permit me to attribute to myself the good that you perform in me and through me, but rather, referring all honor to you, may I admit only to my infirmities, so that renouncing sincerely all vainglory which comes from the world, I may aspire to that true and lasting glory that comes from you. Amen.”
Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB