DAILY MASS READINGS (September 23, 2018)



Reading 1 (WISDOM 2:12, 17-20)

A reading from the Book of Wisdom

The wicked say:
Let us beset the just one, because he is obnoxious to us;
he sets himself against our doings,
reproaches us for transgressions of the law
and charges us with violations of our training.
Let us see whether his words be true;
let us find out what will happen to him.
For if the just one be the son of God, God will defend him
and deliver him from the hand of his foes.
With revilement and torture let us put the just one to the test
that we may have proof of his gentleness
and try his patience.
Let us condemn him to a shameful death;
for according to his own words, God will take care of him.
– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 54:3-4, 5, 6 AND 8)

R. (6b) The Lord upholds my life.
O God, by your name save me,
and by your might defend my cause.
O God, hear my prayer;
hearken to the words of my mouth.
R. The Lord upholds my life.
For the haughty men have risen up against me,
the ruthless seek my life;
they set not God before their eyes.
R. The Lord upholds my life.
Behold, God is my helper;
the Lord sustains my life.
Freely will I offer you sacrifice;
I will praise your name, O LORD, for its goodness.
R. The Lord upholds my life.

Reading 2 (JAMES 3:16—4:3)

A reading from the Letter of St. James

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.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.
– The word of the Lord.

Alleluia (CF. 2 THESSALONIANS 2:14)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
God has called us through the Gospel
to possess the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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.
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: On this Sunday, we are invited to remember how we are to live in spite of many successes in life and aspirations towards greater purpose. The Gospel Reading gives us the picture of how the divine standards are incomparable to that of human standards. The disciples are arguing with one another on which one of them is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. It is basic for a group to argue like that because each member tries to claim who is the first one the master chooses or the one who is more honorable before becoming part of that group. When Jesus learned of this argument of his disciples, he places a child in their midst and assures them that anyone who wants to be the greatest should be the least. He reminds those in the house that anyone who receives the Kingdom of Heaven like a child will receive him, and also anyone who receives him receives God the Father who sent him. During those old times, children are among those groups of people considered insignificant in society. They are usually seen as nuisance, for the old men see them as noisy and extremely playful. But for Jesus, he sees them as worthy of the Kingdom. He invites us to be like them in a childlike manner, not childish manner. A child is said to have the positive characteristics of humility and obedience, that he will follow whatever should be done right and also the good thing towards other people. That is what Jesus meant when he said that we should accept God’s reign like a child, to become humble and obedient to the divine will. This expression of lowliness reminds us that despite our triumphs, successes, and aspirations for greatness, we should always be humble that we don’t show off too much our arrogance, which could lead some people to forget who God is. In fact Christ though he was God, he humbled himself into our nature without sinning and became a Child, born of the Virgin Mary. As he grew in his early years, he subject himself as a son of St. Joseph and the Blessed Mother. He is described to have grown in strong spirit and at an age full of wisdom, and God’s favor was with him. The First Reading describes Jesus Christ as the Wisdom of God, however his enemies want to deal away with him. No wonder they have carried out their plot to arrest him, have him sentenced to death by Pilate, and crucified. They have also mocked him in a tone they hope he will call on the Father to deliver him. But the Paschal Mystery is the great plan of God to redeem the sinful nature of humanity. When Jesus predicted this as the early part of the Gospel reads, the disciples didn’t understand at first. Only then when the Holy Spirit descended upon them at Pentecost, they have understood why their Master have gone through these sufferings, so that salvation may be given to those who believe in him, to which they are to be his witnesses. And one of them, who is St. James the Less, exhorts us in the Second Reading to be peacemakers of God, not igniting jealousy and conflicts among one another. We are called neither to practice evil acts nor omit the good ones, for we all partake in the mission of Evangelization of the Good News. So the challenge for us is that in the midst of a world where secularisation advances, our desire for great things should not hinder us from realizing what is important. Even as we experience triumphs and aspire greatness to more extent, we should always be humble like children, obedient to the will of God the Father. And we should show the love which Christ has brought to the world, that we may also love one another in kindness and truthfulness of heart.

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