DAILY MASS READINGS (February 15, 2019)


Reading 1 (GENESIS 3:1-8)

A reading from the Book of Genesis

Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals
that the LORD God had made.
The serpent asked the woman,
“Did God really tell you not to eat
from any of the trees in the garden?”
The woman answered the serpent:
“We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden;
it is only about the fruit of the tree
in the middle of the garden that God said,
‘You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.’”
But the serpent said to the woman:
“You certainly will not die!
No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it
your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods
who know what is good and what is evil.”
The woman saw that the tree was good for food,
pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom.
So she took some of its fruit and ate it;
and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her,
and he ate it.
Then the eyes of both of them were opened,
and they realized that they were naked;
so they sewed fig leaves together
and made loincloths for themselves.

When they heard the sound of the LORD God moving about in the garden
at the breezy time of the day,
the man and his wife hid themselves from the LORD God
among the trees of the garden.

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 32:1-2, 5, 6, 7)

R. (1a) Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven.
Blessed is he whose fault is taken away,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed the man to whom the LORD imputes not guilt,
in whose spirit there is no guile. 
R. Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
my guilt I covered not.
I said, “I confess my faults to the LORD,” 
and you took away the guilt of my sin. 
R. Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven. 
For this shall every faithful man pray to you 
in time of stress.
Though deep waters overflow,
they shall not reach him. 
R. Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven.
You are my shelter; from distress you will preserve me;
with glad cries of freedom you will ring me round. 
R. Blessed are those whose sins are forgiven.

Alleluia (SEE ACTS 16:14B)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Open our hearts, O Lord,
to listen to the words of your Son.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel (MARK 7:31-37)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark

Jesus left the district of Tyre
and went by way of Sidon to the Sea of Galilee,
into the district of the Decapolis. 
And people brought to him a deaf man who had a speech impediment
and begged him to lay his hand on him.
He took him off by himself away from the crowd. 
He put his finger into the man’s ears
and, spitting, touched his tongue;
then he looked up to heaven and groaned, and said to him,
“Ephphatha!” (that is, “Be opened!”)
And immediately the man’s ears were opened,
his speech impediment was removed,
and he spoke plainly. 
He ordered them not to tell anyone. 
But the more he ordered them not to,
the more they proclaimed it. 
They were exceedingly astonished and they said,
“He has done all things well. 
He makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: Openness is the common theme of the Readings today. The First Reading narrates the Fall of Man when Adam and Eve submitted themselves to the temptation of the serpent. It was their pride of “becoming like God” that their eyes were opened and ashamed of their nakedness; thus ashamed they they’re spiritually dead, for sin had entered the world. The Gospel speaks of Jesus healing a mute and deaf man. The man is a Gentile, who is believed that such will not inherit the promise of God’s salvation. But here Jesus takes some clay, spits on the mud, and places it on the ears and tongue of the man, and said, “Ephphatha—Be opened!” And at that time, the man could hear and speak again.
Openness is viewed as a gift of freedom. We fell open to do what we want to do in life. But what is more important is openness viewed as a gift of free will. This grace should accompany us given by God to be good, do good, and avoid evil. Adam and Eve opened themselves to temptation and pride, that cause sin to enter into humanity. Yet the deaf and dumb man was spiritually open to God’s will, to allow Jesus to touch his physical disabilities by acknowledging the Lord’s presence in his midst. May we have that same openness to the gift of free will, which is inspired and granted by the grace of our Lord.

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