DAILY MASS READINGS (February 21, 2019)

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

Reading 1 (GENESIS 9:1-13)

A reading from the Book of Genesis

God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them:
“Be fertile and multiply and fill the earth.
Dread fear of you shall come upon all the animals of the earth
and all the birds of the air,
upon all the creatures that move about on the ground
and all the fishes of the sea;
into your power they are delivered. 
Every creature that is alive shall be yours to eat;
I give them all to you as I did the green plants. 
Only flesh with its lifeblood still in it you shall not eat.
For your own lifeblood, too, I will demand an accounting:
from every animal I will demand it,
and from one man in regard to his fellow man   
I will demand an accounting for human life.

If anyone sheds the blood of man,
by man shall his blood be shed;
For in the image of God
has man been made.

Be fertile, then, and multiply;
abound on earth and subdue it.”

God said to Noah and to his sons with him:
“See, I am now establishing my covenant with you
and your descendants after you
and with every living creature that was with you:
all the birds, and the various tame and wild animals
that were with you and came out of the ark.
I will establish my covenant with you,
that never again shall all bodily creatures be destroyed
by the waters of a flood;
there shall not be another flood to devastate the earth.”
God added:
“This is the sign that I am giving for all ages to come, 
of the covenant between me and you
and every living creature with you:
I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign
of the covenant between me and the earth.”

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 102:16-18, 19-21, 29 AND 22-23)

R. (20b)  From heaven the Lord looks down on the earth.
 The nations shall revere your name, O LORD,
and all the kings of the earth your glory,
When the LORD has rebuilt Zion
and appeared in his glory;
When he has regarded the prayer of the destitute,
and not despised their prayer. 
R. From heaven the Lord looks down on the earth.
Let this be written for the generation to come,
and let his future creatures praise the LORD:
“The LORD looked down from his holy height,
from heaven he beheld the earth,
To hear the groaning of the prisoners,
to release those doomed to die.” 
R. From heaven the Lord looks down on the earth.
The children of your servants shall abide,
and their posterity shall continue in your presence,
That the name of the LORD may be declared in Zion,
and his praise, in Jerusalem,
When the peoples gather together,
and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD.
R. From heaven the Lord looks down on the earth.


Alleluia (SEE 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 depicts to us the aftermath of the Great Flood, wherein the earth continues to flourish all the more. God also blesses Noah and his family and relatives for the coming generations. Then he also makes a covenant through the sign of the rainbow, that never will he destroy the earth again by a massive flood. This shows that God whom people thought to be punishing and strict is actually a just and merciful God who wills for the benefits of humanity. 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. That is why our Catholic faith holds the teaching of St. James the Less in his Letter (chapter 2) that faith and good works is what justifies a person for salvation. And in the Parable of the Good Samaritan in Chapter 10 verses 25-37 of Luke’s Gospel tells us that this faith and good works direct our hearts and consciences in doing what is right and loving.

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