Day 158: The Reality of Sin

Mark 9:1-13 Only Christ’s inner circle of Apostles-Peter, James, and John-were privileged to see his glory in the Transfiguration, which shows his fulfillment of the Law (Moses) and the prophets (Elijah). The voice of God the Father revealed that Christ is his beloved Son and commanded that his words be taken to heart. In a scene reminiscent of his baptism, the Transfiguration was a manifestation of the Blessed Trinity. (CCC 151, 459, 554-556)

Ch 9:1-2 The kingdom of God come with power: These words led some in the early Church to expect Christ’s return within their own lifetimes. The establishment of his kingdom is an ongoing process that will not be complete until Christ comes again. (CCC 552)

Ch 9:2 Just as Moses received the Law on Mt. Sinai, the Transfiguration took place on a high mountain. The envelopment of Christ in light points to the glory of the Resurrection. The Transfiguration gave special focus to the glory and beauty of Christ’s divinity and at the same time prepared the Apostles to accept the scandal of the Cross. (CCC 554, 555, 556)

Ch 9:7 In the Transfiguration, the Father confirmed that in his Son, Jesus Christ, we have the fullness of Revelation. (CCC 459)

Ch 9:9-10 The three disciples failed to understand the full meaning of what they had heard and witnessed, and they would remain confused until after the Resurrection. 

Rising from the dead: At death, the physical body and spiritual soul are separated; in the resurrection, the glorified body, now incorrupt, will be reunited with the soul for all eternity. (CCC 649, 997-999)

Ch 9:13 Elijah has come: The prophets foretold that Elijah would return (cf. Mal 3:1-2; 4:5) before the coming of the Messiah. Christ identified Elijah as John the Baptist, that is, the “spirit” of Elijah rested upon John, who proclaimed the coming of Christ. (CCC 2684)

Ch 9:14-29 Emphasizing the importance of faith and prayer, Christ chided the father (and, perhaps implicitly, his own disciples who would not cast out the spirit) for the lack of complete faith in him. Pointing out the conditional “if you can” in the father’s request, Christ assured them that everything is possible with faith. The faith needed to overcome the Devil and the evil of sin is expressed in prayer and penance. (CCC 2610)

Ch 9:24 I believe; help my unbelief: Faith is a gift from God that also requires our decision to correspond with this gift. The prayer of the father of the possessed boy should become OUR OWN PRAYER as we continually seek to perfect our faith in Christ. (CCC 162, 167)

Ch 9:30-32 Despite all the signs Christ had provided and the privileged instruction he had given, the disciples were still not reconciled with his imminent Passion and Death on the Cross. They would only come to understand completely with the infusion of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. (CCC 474, 557)

Ch 9:33-50 Christ offered lessons on servant leadership, on collaboration in ministry, and on avoiding scandal. Scandal constitutes a sin that can be very grave if a person intentionally leads another into serious sin. (CCC 2284-2287)

Ch 9:35-37 Servant of all: Humility, purity of intention, and service-not lofty honors and worldly power-are the basis for what defines greatness for the followers of Christ.

One such child: The child here is an image not just of youth but of all who are weak and dependent on others. (CCC 1825)

*Ch 9:43, 45 Verses 44 and 46 (which are IDENTICAL to verse 48) are omitted by the best ancient authorities. “...where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.”

Ch 9:49-50 For every one will be salted with fire: Temptations and suffering are inevitable for those who follow Christ. By uniting our suffering to his Passion, we are purified and transformed to become more like him.

Ch 10:1-12 John the Baptist was put to death by Herod in large part because of his preaching on the subject of divorce and remarriage. The Pharisees may have hoped that Christ would say something similar that would infuriate Herod. Christ clarified that while Moses permitted divorce, God’s original plan for marriage involved one man and one woman united in an exclusive and indissoluble bond for life. (CCC 1612-1617)

Ch 10:4 A certificate of divorce: Because the people had such difficulty keeping the marriage covenant, Moses permitted divorce as a safeguard for women who would have been left alone without any financial or protective support. Christ restored marriage to its original state intended by God and elevated it to the level of the Sacrament of Matrimony, which bestows the grace to love with the charity of Christ and to bear the hardships peculiar to marriage and the raising of children. (CCC 1609-1611)

Ch 10:8-9 In marriage, God established that a man and woman “become one flesh” in a union of mutual and faithful self-giving. Between baptized persons, “a ratified and consummated marriage cannot be dissolved by any human power or for any reason other than death” (CIC 1141). (CCC 1625-1632, 1638-1643, 2364, 2382)

Ch 10:11-12 While divorce is permissible under the civil law of most countries, it cannot dissolve a validly contracted marriage. As taught by our Lord, a validly married person who obtains a civil divorce and then marries another person (without a canonical declaration of nullity) commits adultery. Regardless of the civil status of the marriage, the marriage remains valid in the eyes of God, and any additional marriages would be invalid. Those in valid marriages who attempt to remarry or enter a sexual relationship with another person commit a grave sin and must refrain from receiving the Eucharist. The Church looks with sympathy on those in difficult circumstances and invites them to conversion and the forgiveness of sin through the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. (CCC 1649-1651, 2380)

Ch 10:14 Let the children come to me: The Church has always taught the great importance of infant Baptism. This sentiment is also reflected in the practice of the Eastern Churches, who administer the three Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist) to infants, repeating the words “Let the children come to me” before the reception of Holy Communion. Regarding those children who die without baptism, the Church has NEVER made a definitive statement but FIRMLY PROCLAIMS the HOPE that they will be received into Heaven and so entrusts these innocent souls to the mercy of God as is shown in the Funeral Rite for such children. (CCC 1244, 1261)

Ch 10:17-31 Christ taught that a wholehearted spirit of poverty is necessary to be a true follower of him. While the man had kept the commandments, true perfection required him to detach himself from all his possessions in order to follow Christ wholeheartedly. His sadness reflected the consequences of being distant from Christ. While Christ commended him for keeping the commandments, he needed to give his entire self to reap the joy and peace flowing from Christ’s life. (CCC 2544, 2545-2546)

Ch 10:32-45 Christ turned toward Jerusalem prepared to accept the Death and Resurrection that he had foretold. He announced his Passion again to his disciples and reminded them that they, too, were called to follow in his footsteps. Christ taught that greatness in the Kingdom of God rests upon a spirit of service. (CCC 474, 557, 649, 994)

Ch 10:38-39 The chalice that I will be baptized: Just as Christ will suffer, his disciples will suffer for their faith in him. (CCC 536, 618, 1225)

Ch 10:43-45 The priestly office “is in the strict sense of the term a service” (Lumen Gentium 24). Although bishops and priests possess authority given to them by Christ, their authority is based on becoming a servant to everyone. This life of service is exemplified in every action of Christ. Deacons share in this mission in a special way and are configured to Christ in their servanthood; the Greek diakonos means “servant.” (CCC 608, 1548-1551, 1570)

Ch 10:46-52 This gospel passage is a marvelous instruction on prayer. Bartimaeus not only cried out to Christ with a strong faith but actively sought him by getting up and drawing nearer to him. He was persistent in his prayer, continuing to call for Jesus and acknowledging him as the Messiah even though others tried to silence him. With total confidence, he told Christ that he wanted to see. Not only did Bartimaeus begin to see, but he also received the ultimate gift of seeing the face of Christ. St. Bede saw in Bartimaeus an allegory of the Gentiles, who must recognize Christ, cast off their mantle of sin, and rise up to meet him. The cry of Bartimaeus echoes in a brief prayer, which expresses the same petition in faith: “Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!” These words may be used as an Act of Contrition in the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation. (CCC 528, 2616, 2667)

Psalm 29 This psalm effectively links the Temple, the created world, and the heavens as places where God’s presence is essentially perceived. He who has power over all creation desires every man and woman to dwell eternally with him in peace. We ought not feat the waters stirred by storms on the sea for that same water consecrates us to him in Baptism by which we grow in holiness through our life in Christ. (Cf. St. John Paul II, General Audience, June 13, 2001)

The Church prays the latter part of this psalm at Mass on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. 

Sons of God: A translation of bene Elohim (“O heavenly beings”)

The Glory of his name: God’s name is sacred and should be used only in adoration and prayer and with great reverence. Any misuse of his name constitutes an offense against the Second Commandment.

Voice of the Lord: This refers to God’s historic theophanies and is symbolic of his power and sovereignty. The several examples that follow indicate his complete control and supremacy over all of creation. 

Enthroned over the flood: This psalm is similar to and may have been an adaptation of a pagan hymn to Baal, the god of rain and storms, that was popular in that day. This phrase is meant to indicate God’s complete superiority over the pagan gods. (CCC 2143)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)






Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise. And we bless you and you bless us and you keep giving to us and so we give you praise. And we know that you are the one who is blessed. Lord God, in the Gospel, you often ask, ‘What is it that you wish for? What is it that you want?’ And if I don’t know what it is that I want, if I don’t know what it is that I wish for, if I don’t know what it is the deep desire of my heart, then I don’t know how to answer this question. And so, Lord God, before I can even ask what I wish for, I ask that you please give us all a spirit of clarity, a spirit of actually knowing what it is that our heart longs for, knowing what it is that we really truly desire. Because our hearts are clouded by misjudgment, our hearts are clouded by a number of contradictory desires. And so, Lord God, I don’t even know what my heart wants half the time. And so I ask that you please, before I can give you any answer of what it is that you want me to do for you, I need to know what it is. I need to receive a pure heart from you, a pure heart that can see, not just other people well, but also see what it is that is in the depth of my heart. God, I want to approach you always with clarity. I want to approach you always with confidence and with courage, and so I ask that you please, send into my heart and into the hearts of all those who are praying with me now, that spirit of clarity, of confidence, and of courage. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”

Dustin's Insights 

Mk. 9:

Mk. 10:

Therefore, those who are wealthy ought to be cautious of their wealth and of the common good. When Jesus asks one to renounce it all for the sake of his Kingdom, one must be ready to follow him. We cannot afford to be like the rich young man who embraced his material wealth but who rejected the abundant wealth of the Holy Spirit. “What profit is there for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?” (Mk. 8:36)

My Study Color Code

Suffering, Martyrdom Places The Church, Sacraments, Divinity Horticultural Imagery People Messianic Kingship Sin, Death, Decay