MGA PAGBASANG PANG-ARAW-ARAW (Pebrero 25, 2020)

MARTES NG IKA-7 LINGGO SA KARANIWANG PANAHON/MARTES DE CARNAVAL (TAON II, Berde)

UNANG PAGBASA (Santiago 4, 1-10)

Pagbasa mula sa sulat ni Apostol Santiago

Mga pinakamamahal, ano ang pinagmumulan ng inyong alitan at paglalaban-laban? Hindi ba’t ang masasamang nasa na namumugad sa kalooban ng bawat isa sa inyo, at pawang nagkakalaban-laban? Mayroon kayong pinakamimithi ngunit hindi ninyo makamtan, kaya’t papatay kayo kung kailangan, mapasainyo lamang ito. Dahil sa inyong pag-iimbot sa mga bagay na hindi inyo, kayo’y nagkakagalit at naglalaban-laban, sapagkat hindi kayo humihingi sa Diyos. At humingi man kayo, wala rin kayong natatanggap, sapagkat masama ang inyong layunin — humihingi kayo upang gamitin sa kalayawan. Mga taksil! Hindi ba ninyo alam na kapag kinaibigan ninyo ang sanlibutan ay kinakaaway naman ninyo ang Diyos? Kaya’t sinumang nagnanais na maging kaibigan ng sanlibutan ay kaaway ng Diyos. Baka naman ang akala ninyo’y walang kabuluhan ang nasasaad sa Kasulatan na, “Napakarubdob ng pag-ibig ng Diyos sa espiritung ibinigay niya sa atin, at ayaw niya ng mga kaagaw sa ating pag-ibig.” Ngunit higit na malakas ang tulong na ibinigay sa atin ng Diyos. Sapagkat ang sabi sa Kasulatan: “Ang Diyos ay laban sa mga palalo, ngunit tumutulong sa mga mapagkumbaba.” Kaya nga, pasakop kayo sa Diyos. Labanan ninyo ang diyablo at lalayuan niya kayo. Lumapit kayo sa Diyos at lalapit siya sa inyo. Linisin ninyo ang inyong mga kamay, kayong mga makasalanan! Linisin ninyo ang inyong puso, kayong pabagu-bago ang isip. Mamighati kayo, maghinagpis at tumangis! palitan ninyo ang pagluha ang inyong halakhakan, at ng kapanglawan ang inyong kagalakan! Magpakababa kayo sa harapan ng Panginoon at itataas niya kayo.

– Ang Salita ng Diyos.

SALMONG TUGUNAN (Salmo 54, 7-8. 9-10a. 10b-11a. 23)

Tugon: Ilagak ang suliranin sa Diyos na matulungin.

Wika ko, “Kung ako lamang ay may pakpak,
parang kalapati, ako ay lilipad;
ako ay hahanap ng dakong panatag.
Aking liliparin ang malayong lugar
at doon sa ilang ako mananahan.

Tugon: Ilagak ang suliranin sa Diyos na matulungin.

Ako ay hahanap agad ng kanlungan
upang makaiwas sa bagyong daratal.”
Sila ay wasakin, Poon, guluhin mo;
pag-uusap nila’y bayaang malito.

Tugon: Ilagak ang suliranin sa Diyos na matulungin.

Yamang karahasan ang nakikita ko,
at sa lungsod nila ay nagkakagulo.
Sa lungsod na puno ng sama’t ligalig,
araw-gabi’y doon sila lumiligid.

Tugon: Ilagak ang suliranin sa Diyos na matulungin.

Ilagak sa Poon yaong suliranin
at ikaw ay hindi niya bibiguin,
hindi babayaan ang taong magaling.

Tugon: Ilagak ang suliranin sa Diyos na matulungin.

ALELUYA (Galacia 6, 14)

Aleluya! Aleluya!
Sa krus ni Kristo dinangal
itong ating pamumuhay
na para sa kanya lamang.
Aleluya! Aleluya!

MABUTING BALITA (Marcos 9, 30-37)

Ang Mabuting Balita ng Panginoon ayon kay San Marcos

Noong panahong iyon, sina Hesus at ang kanyang mga alagad ay nagdaan sa Galilea. Ayaw ni Hesus na malaman ito ng mga tao, sapagkat tinuturuan niya ang kanyang mga alagad. Sinabi niya: “Ang Anak ng Tao ay ipagkakanulo at papatayin, ngunit muling mabubuhay sa ikatlong araw.” Hindi nila naunawaan ang sinabi niya, ngunit natatakot naman silang magtanong sa kanya.

At dumating sila sa Capernaum. Nang sila’y nasa bahay na, tinanong ni Hesus ang kanyang mga alagad, “Ano ba’ng pinagtatalunan ninyo sa daan?” Hindi sila kumibo, sapagkat ang pinagtatalunan nila’y kung sino sa kanila ang pinakadakila. Naupo si Hesus, tinawag ang Labindalawa at sinabi, “Ang sinumang nagnanais maging una ay dapat maging huli sa lahat, at maging lingkod ng lahat.” Tinawag niya ang isang maliit na bata, at pinatayo sa harapan nila. Pagkatapos, kinalong niya ito at sinabi, “Ang sinumang tumanggap sa isang maliit na batang tulad nitong alang-alang sa akin ay tumatanggap sa akin; at sinumang tumanggap sa akin — hindi ako ang kanyang tinatanggap kundi ang nagsugo sa akin.”

– Ang Mabuting Balita ng Panginoon.

Pagninilay: Tayong lahat ay mga anak ng ating Kataas-taasang Diyos. Kaya tayo ay tinatawag na maging matapat sa kanyang dakilang kalooban. Ang Unang Pagbasa ay isang paalala sa atin na huwag maging dahilan o ugat ng mga pagkakawatak-watak at paninirang puri sa isang komunidad/lipunan. Mahalaga ang pahayag ni Santiago na tayo’y patuloy na maging matapat sa Diyos at sa kanyang kalooban. Kaya minsa’y kung ano ang itinuturo ng mundo ngayon, kadalasa’y hindi itong tamang gawin. Ito’y mahahalagang paanyaya sa atin na huwag tayong masyadong maimpluwensiya sa lahat ng nauusong bagay sa mundong ito, kundi magkaroon tayo ng isang bukas na loob upang tanggapin pa ang biyaya ng Panginoon. Si Hesus sa Ebanghelyo ay nag-anyaya sa atin kung paano dapat tayong mamuhay. Ito ay isang tugon sa mga argumento ng mga alagad sa isa’t isa kung sino raw ang pinakadakila. Sabi ni Hesus na upang tayo’y maging dakila sa Kaharian ng Diyos, dapat nating tularan ang isang bata, kaya ito’y pinatayo niya sa gitna ng tao. Ang bata na dating itinuturing ng lipunan na mahina ay may kahalagahan pala. Alam po natin na ang isang bata ay susunod sa utos ng kanyang magulang o higit pa dito sa isang utos na ikabubuti hindi lang ng kanyang sarili, kundi para na rin sa ibang tao. Dito makikita natin ang naging buhay ni Kristo nang bagamat siya ay Diyos ay nagkatawang-tao at naging bata sa ilalim ng isang Banal na pamilya, at siya’y nakapiling nina Birheng Maria at San Jose. Kaya ang pagiging “bata” ayon kay Hesus ay isang taong may kababang-loob at pagiging masunurin sa Diyos. Makikita natin sa unang bahagi ng sipi kung paano ipinaalam niya sa ikalawang pagkakataon tungkol sa kanyang Misteryong Paskwal. Ang pag-aalay ni Hesus sa Krus at ang Muling Pagkabuhay ay tanda na handa siyang sumunod sa kalooban ng Ama upang tayo ay matubos mula sa ating mga kasalanan. Kaya ipinakita sa atin na ang tanging paraan upang makamit natin ang kaluwalhatian at buhay na walang hanggan, kailangan nating manalig sa Panginoon at maging mga “childlike” sa kababang-loob at pagkamasunurin.

DAILY MASS READINGS (February 25, 2020)

TUESDAY OF THE 7TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME/SHROVE TUESDAY (YEAR II, Green)

Reading 1 (JAMES 4:1-10)

A reading from the 1st Letter of St. James

Beloved:
Where do the wars and where do the conflicts among you come from?
Is it not from your passions that make war within your members?
You covet but do not possess.
You kill and envy but you cannot obtain;
you fight and wage war.
You do not possess because you do not ask.
You ask but do not receive, because you ask wrongly,
to spend it on your passions.
Adulterers!
Do you not know that to be a lover of the world means enmity with God?
Therefore, whoever wants to be a lover of the world   
makes himself an enemy of God.
Or do you suppose that the Scripture speaks without meaning when it says,
The spirit that he has made to dwell in us tends toward jealousy?
But he bestows a greater grace; therefore, it says:
God resists the proud,
but gives grace to the humble.

So submit yourselves to God.
Resist the Devil, and he will flee from you.
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.
Cleanse your hands, you sinners,
and purify your hearts, you of two minds.
Begin to lament, to mourn, to weep.
Let your laughter be turned into mourning
and your joy into dejection.
Humble yourselves before the Lord
and he will exalt you.

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 55:7-8, 9-10A, 10B-11A, 23)

R.    (23a)  Throw your cares on the Lord, and he will support you.
And I say, “Had I but wings like a dove,
I would fly away and be at rest.
Far away I would flee;
I would lodge in the wilderness.”
R.    Throw your cares on the Lord, and he will support you.
“I would wait for him who saves me
from the violent storm and the tempest.”
Engulf them, O Lord; divide their counsels.
R.    Throw your cares on the Lord, and he will support you.
In the city I see violence and strife,
day and night they prowl about upon its walls.
R.    Throw your cares on the Lord, and he will support you.
Cast your care upon the LORD,
and he will support you;
never will he permit the just man to be disturbed.
R.    Throw your cares on the Lord, and he will support you.

Alleluia (GALATIANS 6:14)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
May I never boast except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
through which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel (MARK 9:30-37)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark

Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee,
but he did not wish anyone to know about it.
He was teaching his disciples and telling them,
“The Son of Man is to be handed over to men
and they will kill him,
and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.”
But they did not understand the saying,
and they were afraid to question him.

They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house,
he began to ask them,
“What were you arguing about on the way?”
But they remained silent.
For they had been discussing among themselves on the way
who was the greatest.
Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them,
“If anyone wishes to be first,   
he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”
Taking a child, he placed it in their midst,   
and putting his arms around it, he said to them,
“Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me;
and whoever receives me,
receives not me but the One who sent me.”

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: In the First Reading (James 4:1-10), Saint James the Less tells us to get rid of all evil and vices in the world and to submit ourselves humbly to God. If we humble ourselves before the Lord and do what is pleasing to him, then he will exult us. In the Gospel (Mark 9:30-37), Jesus predicts his Passion, Death, and Resurrection for the second tine, at which his disciples did not understand. They are arguing with one another on being the greatest in Heaven. He places a child in their midst and tells them to humble like children in order to be great. To practice humility is receiving Christ and God the Father who sent him. Both Jesus and Saint James the Less remind us of humility and faithfulness. Especially when we lead, we do it the Christian way, and that is through service. Even though we are great and in higher levels, still, we must stoop down to help those in the lower levels, especially those in need. We pray also for our newly elected leaders, that they may serve our country and all Filipinos by fulfilling their platforms they promised during these six years of administration. So as we journey down this road, let us practice humility and faithfulness, especially in servant leadership, because that is how greatness can be achieved. And the greatness the Lord gives is what we will receive after our earthly journey, and that is eternal life in Heaven.

DAILY MASS READINGS (February 24, 2020)

MONDAY OF THE 7TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR II, Green)

Reading 1 (JAMES 3:13-18)

A reading from the Letter of St. James

Beloved:
Who among you is wise and understanding?
Let him show his works by a good life   
in the humility that comes from wisdom.
But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts,
do not boast and be false to the truth.
Wisdom of this kind does not come down from above
but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.
For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist,
there is disorder and every foul practice.
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure,
then peaceable, gentle, compliant,
full of mercy and good fruits,
without inconstancy or insincerity.
And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace
for those who cultivate peace.

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 19:8, 9, 10, 15)

R.    (9a)  The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R.    The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
The command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
R.    The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
The ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R.    The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.
Let the words of my mouth and the thought of my heart
find favor before you,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
R.    The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.

Alleluia (2 TIMOTHY 1:10)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death
and brought life to light through the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel (MARK 9:14-29)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark

As Jesus came down from the mountain with Peter, James, John
and approached the other disciples,
they saw a large crowd around them and scribes arguing with them.
Immediately on seeing him,
the whole crowd was utterly amazed.
They ran up to him and greeted him.
He asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?”
Someone from the crowd answered him,
“Teacher, I have brought to you my son possessed by a mute spirit.
Wherever it seizes him, it throws him down;
he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid.
I asked your disciples to drive it out, but they were unable to do so.”
He said to them in reply,
“O faithless generation, how long will I be with you?
How long will I endure you?  Bring him to me.”
They brought the boy to him.
And when he saw him,
the spirit immediately threw the boy into convulsions.
As he fell to the ground, he began to roll around   
and foam at the mouth.
Then he questioned his father,
“How long has this been happening to him?”
He replied, “Since childhood.
It has often thrown him into fire and into water to kill him.
But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
Jesus said to him,
“‘If you can!’ Everything is possible to one who has faith.”
Then the boy’s father cried out, “I do believe, help my unbelief!”
Jesus, on seeing a crowd rapidly gathering,
rebuked the unclean spirit and said to it,
“Mute and deaf spirit, I command you:
come out of him and never enter him again!”
Shouting and throwing the boy into convulsions, it came out.
He became like a corpse, which caused many to say, “He is dead!”
But Jesus took him by the hand, raised him, and he stood up.
When he entered the house, his disciples asked him in private,
“Why could we not drive the spirit out?”
He said to them, “This kind can only come out through prayer.”

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: The First Reading is an exhortation towards wisdom and peace. Saint James reminds us to be humble and sincere in our goodness. He also warns us to remove jealousy and selfish ambition from us that causes division, hatred, and brokenness in our relationship with others and most especially with the Lord. So the challenge for us is to be wise before the sight of the Lord, especially with how we relate ourselves with others as children of the Father. The Gospel Reading gives us a picture of how the power of God is present in Jesus. We see here a faithless father who has been doubting and searching for a cure for his son being tormented by a demon. He also narrated to Jesus how the boy would attempt to go to drown in the lake and even to cast in the fire. Earlier the father has brought his son to the disciples, however they have not cured him. Even with all the worry and fear of the man, Jesus eases his emotions by assuring him that nothing is impossible to one who has faith. At this he humbles himself before the Lord to help his unbelief. And at the moment, Jesus has driven out the evil spirit from the boy, and the family has rejoiced for this spectacular occasion. This great miracle shows how faith is regarded as the “fear of the Lord”. Truly nothing is impossible for God to do for us what we need based on his time if we truly believe. And if we are truly faithful to him, thus we are also called to manifest this faith through our relationship with other people.

DAILY MASS READINGS (February 21, 2020)

FRIDAY OF THE 6TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR II, Green)

Reading 1 (JAMES 2:14-24, 26)

A reading from the Letter of St. James

What good is it, my brothers and sisters,
if someone says he has faith but does not have works?   
Can that faith save him?
If a brother or sister has nothing to wear
and has no food for the day,
and one of you says to them,
“Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,”
but you do not give them the necessities of the body,
what good is it?
So also faith of itself,
if it does not have works, is dead.

Indeed someone might say,   
“You have faith and I have works.”
Demonstrate your faith to me without works,
and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works.
You believe that God is one.
You do well.
Even the demons believe that and tremble.
Do you want proof, you ignoramus,
that faith without works is useless?
Was not Abraham our father justified by works
when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar?
You see that faith was active along with his works,
and faith was completed by the works.
Thus the Scripture was fulfilled that says,
Abraham believed God,
and it was credited to him as righteousness,

and he was called the friend of God.
See how a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.
For just as a body without a spirit is dead,
so also faith without works is dead.

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 112:1-2, 3-4, 5-6)

R.    (see 1b)  Blessed the man who greatly delights in the Lord’s commands.
Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed.
R.    Blessed the man who greatly delights in the Lord’s commands.
Wealth and riches shall be in his house;
his generosity shall endure forever.
Light shines through the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious and merciful and just.
R.    Blessed the man who greatly delights in the Lord’s commands.
Well for the man who is gracious and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice;
He shall never be moved;
the just man shall be in everlasting remembrance.
R.    Blessed the man who greatly delights in the Lord’s commands.

Alleluia (JOHN 15:15B)

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
I call you my friends, says the Lord,
for I have made known to you all that the Father has told me.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel (MARK 8:34–9:1)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark

Jesus summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them,
“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake
and that of the Gospel will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
and forfeit his life?
What could one give in exchange for his life?
Whoever is ashamed of me and of my words
in this faithless and sinful generation,
the Son of Man will be ashamed of
when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

He also said to them,
“Amen, I say to you,
there are some standing here who will not taste death
until they see that the Kingdom of God has come in power.”

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: The First Reading is a reminder to all of us Christians who believe in God the Father and his Son. Many groups have already claimed that salvation is attained through “sole belief” or “faith only” in the Lord. This is the popular doctrine of “Sola Fidei,” which contradicts what the Apostle James the Less tells us today in the passage. The measure of our faith in God is shown not just in believing in him, but also in manifesting works of justice, love, and peace [good works]. Doing good and kind deeds is not only justification for salvation, but they are also accompaniments to our devotions and Traditions. Essentially our faith is seen in Doctrines, Worship, and Morals. This serves as a reminder to us Christian Catholics on how we are to live our faith daily and manifest it in thoughts, words, and deeds. The Gospel reminds us of our total commitment in discipleship. We are told to deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow Jesus. Becoming a follower of the Lord is really not that easy. We are undergoing so many sufferings, trials, and challenges in life. But Jesus assures us the comfort of enduring such with fidelity, trusting in his guidance each day. The crosses symbolize the burdens we experience and carry along. We have to remember how Christ suffered and died on the Cross in order to redeem us from falling into sin and to make us adoptive children of God the Father. So when we suffer, it doesn’t mean God is placing the heavy burdens upon us. Since it is a natural element caused by the Fall of Man, our challenge is to endure them with faith and perseverance. Again it is not easy in becoming a disciple of our Lord. We may think that all the riches, material wealth, and desires of the world can satisfy the length of our lives. But we tend to forget the importance of working hard for the fruits of our labor and as a result the One who gave us these blessings. When the time has come, we will all go back to God, for that is where our true life belongs in eternal life in his Kingdom.

MGA PAGBASANG PANG-ARAW-ARAW (Pebrero 20, 2020)

HUWEBES NG IKA-6 NA LINGGO SA KARANIWANG PANAHON (TAON II, Berde)

UNANG PAGBASA (Santiago 2, 1-9)

Pagbasa mula sa sulat ni Apostol Santiago

Mga kapatid, bilang mga sumasampalataya sa ting Panginoong Hesukristo, ang dakilang Panginoon, huwag kayong magtatangi ng tao. Halimbawa: pumasok sa inyong kapulungan ang isang lalaking nakasingsing ng ginto at nakadamit nang magara, at isa namang dukha na panay sulsi ang damit. Kung asikasuhin ninyong mabuti yaong magara ang damit at sabihin sa kanya, “Dito kayo maupo,” at sabihin naman sa dukha, “Tumayo ka na lang diyan,” o kaya’y “Sa sahig ka na lang maupo,” nagtatangi na kayo at humahatol nang mali.

Tingnan ninyo, mga kapatid kong minamahal! Hinirang ng Diyos ang mga dukha sa sanlibutan upang maging mayaman sa pananampalataya at maging kasama sa kahariang ipinangako niya sa mga umiibig sa kanya. Ngunit hinahamak naman ninyo ang dukha! Hindi ba’t ang mayayaman ang sumisiil sa inyo? Hindi ba sila and kumakaladkad sa inyo sa hukuman? Hindi ba’t sila rin ang dumudusta sa marangal na pangalang ibinigay sa inyo ng Diyos?

Mabuti ang inyong ginagawa kung tinutupad ninyo ang kautusang ibinigay ng Diyos, na nasasaad sa Kasulatan, “Ibigin mo ang iyong kapwa gawa ng iyong sarili.” Ngunit kung hindi pare-pareho and tingin ninyo sa tao, kayo’y nagkakasala, at ayon sa Kasulatan, dapat kayong parusahan.

– Ang Salita ng Diyos.

SALMONG TUGUNAN (Salmo 33, 2-3. 4-5. 6-7)

Tugon: Dukhang sa D’yos tumatawag ay kanyang inililigtas.

Panginoo’y aking laging pupurihin;
sa pasasalamat di ako titigil.
Aking pupurihin kanyang mga gawa,
kayong naaapi, makinig, matuwa!

Tugon: Dukhang sa D’yos tumatawag ay kanyang inililigtas.

Ang pagkadakila niya ay ihayag
at ang ngalan niya’y purihin ng lahat!
Ang aking dalangi’y dininig ng Diyos,
nawala sa akin ang lahat kong takot.

Tugon: Dukhang sa D’yos tumatawag ay kanyang inililigtas.

Nagalak ang aping umasa sa kanya,
pagkat di nabigo ang pag-asa nila.
Tumatawag sa Diyos ang walang pag-asa,
Sila’y iniligtas sa hirap at dusa.

Tugon: Dukhang sa D’yos tumatawag ay kanyang inililigtas.

ALELUYA (Juan 6, 63k. 68k)

Aleluya! Aleluya!
Espiritung bumubuhay
ang Salita mo, Maykapal,
buhay mo ang tinataglay.
Aleluya! Aleluya!

MABUTING BALITA (Marcos 8, 27-33)

Ang Mabuting Balita ng Panginoon ayon kay San Marcos

Noong panahong iyon, si Hesus, kasama ang kanyang mga alagad, ay nagtungo sa mga nayon ng Cesarea, sakop ni Filipo. Samantalang sila’y naglalakbay, tinanong niya ang kanyang mga alagad, “Sino raw ako ayon sa mga tao?” Sumagot sila, “Ang sabi ng ilan ay si Juan Bautista kayo; sabi naman ng iba, si Elias kayo; at may nagsasabi pang isa kayo sa mga propeta.” “Kayo naman – ano ang sabi ninyo? Sino ako?” tanong niya. “Kayo ang Kristo,” tugon ni Pedro. “Huwag ninyong sasabihin kaninuman kung sino ako,” mahigpit na utos niya sa kanila.

Mula noon, ipinaalam na ni Hesus sa kanyang mga alagad na ang Anak ng Tao’y dapat magbata ng maraming hirap. Siya’y itatakwil ng matatanda ng bayan, ng mga punong saserdote at ng mga eskriba at ipapapatay. Ngunit sa ikatlong araw, muli siyang mabubuhay. Maliwanag na sinabi niya ito sa kanila. Kaya’t niyaya siya ni Pedro sa isang tabi at sinimulang pagsabihan. Ngunit humarap si Hesus sa kanyang mga alagad at pinagwikaan si Pedro: “Lumayo ka, Satanas! Ang iniisip mo’y hindi sa Diyos kundi sa tao.”

– Ang Mabuting Balita ng Panginoon.

Pagninilay: Ang Unang Pagbasa ay nagpapaalala sa atin kung paano nating tinatrato ang ating mga kapwa, lalung-lalo na ang mga mahihirap. Kung tayo’y may matatag na pananampalataya sa Diyos, ito’y dapat maging paraan na gawing kaakibat ang pagiging mabuti sa ibang tao. Hindi dapat natin sila tinatanggihan o kaya sinasaktan, bagkus dapat natin sila tanggapin nang buong kakabang-loob. Ang ganyang pagtanggap sa lahat ng tao ay isang tanda ng pagtanggap natin sa Panginoon ng ating buhay. Ang Ebanghelyo ngayon ay isang pagkakatagpo ng mga Apostol kay Hesus. Tinanong sila ni Kristo kung sino siya sa tao, at maraming kilalang pangalan ang lumabas katulad nina San Juan Bautista, Elias, Jeremias, o isa sa mga propeta. At nang mismong sila’y tanungin niya, si Simon Pedro ay nagpahayag na si Hesus ay ang Kristo, ang Anak ng Diyos. Dahil sa tamang sagot ni Pedro, pinagsabihin sila ni Hesus na huwag sabihin kanino man kung sino siya. Ang akala ni Simon Pedro na ang pagka-Mesiyas ni Hesus ay ayon sa pananaw ng mga Hudyo na ito’y magiging tapagtanggol ng mga Israelita mula sa pananakop ng mga Romano. Kaya nang unang ipinaalam ng Panginoon na siya’y mamatay at muling mabubuhay, biglang tumanggi si Pedro, at ito’y pinaglayuan ni Hesus na “Satanas”. Hindi po ibig sabihin na demonyo ang Apostol na ito, kundi ito’y pagmamalabis na iniisip niya ay mula sa pananaw ng tao, at hindi ayon sa karunungan ng Diyos. Pero makikita natin sa pagpapahayag ng pananalig ni San Pedro na si Hesus ang Mesiyas, ito’y paanayaya sa atin na dapat kilalanin din natin ang Diyos sa ating sariling buhay. At kung patuloy natin kinikilala siya, gawin po natin ang kanyang niloob hindi lang para sa atin, kundi para na rin sa mabuting kapakanan ng ibang tao. Nawa’y isabuhay natin ang ating pananampalataya sa Panginoon sa patuloy na paggawa ng kabutihan at katuwiran sa lahat ng tao.

DAILY MASS READINGS (February 20, 2020)

THURSDAY OF THE 6TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR II, Green)

Reading 1 (JAMES 2:1-9)

A reading from the Letter of St. James

My brothers and sisters, show no partiality
as you adhere to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ.
For if a man with gold rings and fine clothes  
comes into your assembly,
and a poor person with shabby clothes also comes in,  
and you pay attention to the one wearing the fine clothes
and say, “Sit here, please,”
while you say to the poor one, “Stand there,” or “Sit at my feet,”
have you not made distinctions among yourselves
and become judges with evil designs?

Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters.
Did not God choose those who are poor in the world
to be rich in faith and heirs of the Kingdom
that he promised to those who love him?
But you dishonored the poor.
Are not the rich oppressing you?
And do they themselves not haul you off to court?
Is it not they who blaspheme the noble name that was invoked over you?
However, if you fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture,
You shall love your neighbor as yourself, you are doing well.
But if you show partiality, you commit sin,
and are convicted by the law as transgressors.

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7)

R.    (7a) The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
R.    The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
R.    The Lord hears the cry of the poor.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.
R.    The Lord hears the cry of the poor.

Alleluia (JOHN 6:63C, 68C)

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life;
you have the words of everlasting life.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel (MARK 8:27-33)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark

Jesus and his disciples set out
for the villages of Caesarea Philippi.
Along the way he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that I am?”
They said in reply,
“John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others one of the prophets.”
And he asked them,
“But who do you say that I am?”
Peter said to him in reply,
“You are the Christ.”
Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him.

He began to teach them
that the Son of Man must suffer greatly
and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed, and rise after three days.
He spoke this openly.
Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples,
rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan.
You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: The First Reading reminds us of how we are to treat one another, especially those who are considered to be “poor”. We know that we have a strong faith in the Lord, which is why we have so many devotions and prayers to him. Now what the Apostle James wants us to do is to make those practices and traditions, that compose the Single Deposit, reflective in our lives. They should lead us in caring and showing our concern for other people. They should not be means of exploiting nor belittling others. By accepting our neighbors, we also accept the Lord in our lives. The Gospel Reading gives us a close personal encounter of Christ with his Apostles in Caesarea, Philippi. He asks them of the opinion of people about him, to which they reply different names like St. John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah, or one of the ancient prophets. Then he straightens himself up to ask them of their opinion about him. But more than a mere opinion, Simon Peter makes a profession of faith that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, then he and the rest of the Apostles were told not to tell anyone about the Lord. Peter has known from his heart that Jesus is the Messiah, but he only viewed this in the perspective of the Jewish oracles. The Apostles thought that he is the liberator of the Israelites from the Roman occupation. So when Christ first has predicted his passion, Peter sternly objects. Then Jesus calls him “Satan” not because he is demonic, but it is a hyperbole to signify the limited capacity of Simon Peter’s thinking, unlike that of God’s wisdom. But moreover what we can learn here is like St. Peter, we too believe that Jesus Christ is our Lord, Savior, and Friend. We believe that God is a loving and merciful Father. Moreover, we should always allow the divine will to happen in our life. It will not only benefit us, but even other people, by the way we interact with them and do kind and just deeds towards them. 

DAILY MASS READINGS (February 19, 2020)

WEDNESDAY OF THE 6TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR II, Green)

Reading 1 (JAMES 1:19-27)

A reading from the Letter of St. James

Know this, my dear brothers and sisters:
everyone should be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger
for anger does not accomplish
the righteousness of God.
Therefore, put away all filth and evil excess
and humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you
and is able to save your souls.

Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer,
he is like a man who looks at his own face in a mirror.
He sees himself, then goes off and promptly forgets
what he looked like.
But the one who peers into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres,
and is not a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts;
such a one shall be blessed in what he does.

If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue
but deceives his heart, his religion is vain.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this:
to care for orphans and widows in their affliction
and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 15:2-3A, 3BC-4AB, 5)

R.    (1b)  Who shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord?
He who walks blamelessly and does justice;
who thinks the truth in his heart
and slanders not with his tongue.
R.    Who shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord?
Who harms not his fellow man,
nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor;
By whom the reprobate is despised,
while he honors those who fear the LORD.
R.    Who shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord?
Who lends not his money at usury
and accepts no bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things
shall never be disturbed.
R.    Who shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord?

Alleluia (EPHESIANS 1:17-18)

R.    Alleluia, alleluia.
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our hearts,
that we may know what is the hope
that belongs to his call.
R.    Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel (MARK 8:22-26)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark

When Jesus and his disciples arrived at Bethsaida,
people brought to him a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him.
He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village.
Putting spittle on his eyes he laid his hands on the man and asked,
“Do you see anything?”
Looking up the man replied, “I see people looking like trees and walking.”
Then he laid hands on the man’s eyes a second time and he saw clearly;
his sight was restored and he could see everything distinctly.
Then he sent him home and said, “Do not even go into the village.”

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: St. James in the Less in the First Reading reminds us of being active participants of God’s word. This entails that the words of Scripture that we read and listen to especially at Mass should be applied into its appropriate action. This means that we are all called to be doers of his word, that we may bring the knowledge and love of him to other people. This is how the Apostle describes faith to be. And he mentions the importance of religion, which some Christians claim that it cannot give salvation, but rather the acceptance of faith in Jesus Christ. However, the word “religion” is related to “relationship” as a popular etymology connotes. And going back to the passage, St. James says that the religion God desires is the one who cares for the orphans, feeds the hungry, and shows other acts of love and compassion towards all people. Jesus in the Gospel Reading heals a blind man. This blind man is seeing figures, which virtually portray the actual realities. So when Jesus spits on mud and puts it in his eyes, he opens his eyes to the reality, and at once he can see. We see here how Christ is a merciful Lord who is able to understand our weaknesses in life. He also invites us to picture reality just like the physically blind man, that we may remove the spiritual and emotional blindness that hinder us from recognizing the divine presence among us.