DAILY MASS READINGS (February 28, 2019)

THURSDAY OF THE 7TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR I, Green)

Reading 1 (SIRACH 5:1-8)

A reading from the Book of Sirach

Rely not on your wealth;
say not: “I have the power.”
Rely not on your strength
in following the desires of your heart.
Say not: “Who can prevail against me?”
or, “Who will subdue me for my deeds?”
for God will surely exact the punishment.
Say not: “I have sinned, yet what has befallen me?”
for the Most High bides his time.
Of forgiveness be not overconfident,
adding sin upon sin.
Say not: “Great is his mercy;
my many sins he will forgive.”
For mercy and anger alike are with him;
upon the wicked alights his wrath.
Delay not your conversion to the LORD,
put it not off from day to day.
For suddenly his wrath flames forth;
at the time of vengeance you will be destroyed.
Rely not upon deceitful wealth,
for it will be no help on the day of wrath.

– The word of the Lord.

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

R. (40:5a) Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Not so the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.


Alleluia (SEE 1 THESSALONIANS 2:13)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Receive the word of God, not as the word of men,
but as it truly is, the word of God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.


Gospel (MARK 9:41-50)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink
because you belong to Christ,
amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,   
it would be better for him if a great millstone
were put around his neck
and he were thrown into the sea.
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.
It is better for you to enter into life maimed   
than with two hands to go into Gehenna,
into the unquenchable fire.
And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off.
It is better for you to enter into life crippled   
than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna.
And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.
Better for you to enter into the Kingdom of God with one eye
than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna,
where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched. 

“Everyone will be salted with fire.
Salt is good, but if salt becomes insipid,
with what will you restore its flavor?
Keep salt in yourselves and you will have peace with one another.”

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: The First Reading is a reminder for us to always depend on God and live his message of mercy in our lives. We all know we have our own possessions and material objects that have shaped up into the personality we are today. Indeed these things have helped us and even our loves ones to develop in society. But Sirach tells us that in the midst of our aspiration for worldly things, we should always have most of the ample time for God’s graces to always enter our lives. However as we also recognize his mercy, we should not make any mere assumption that we cannot acknowledge our sinfulness. Meaning that we should not have that “ningas kugon” mentality that we tend to leave everything to him without us working for a good and worthy life. That is why the Sacrament of Confession is important, which the Church requires us to receive at least once in a year especially during Lent. The Gospel is a stern reminder from our Lord Jesus Christ to avoid any temptations that leads to sin, and it’s also a big “No, no” for him if we do it unto other innocent people. In other words, a scandal is a very controversial incident concerning the reputation of certain individuals or groups. But it is not literal that we should cut off our body parts if ever we commit scandals. Rather Jesus is implying that we put an end to such immoral behavior instead of ourselves facing the fires of Hell. But we know we all have this “tao lamang” attitude. Human as we are, we are all prone to commit errors and failures. Likewise in our Church, she is facing a large scandal of sexual abuses and cover-ups. This is why Pope Francis is very serious in such investigations because of the damages done to the victims of such harassment done by some clergymen. Now what we can learn from this is that even those in the religious and consecrated life are prone to their weaknesses. But such issues should always be a call for us to become holy in the image and likeness of our Lord. It is a reminder for us to be steadfast in our faith, even as we pray not only for the Church, but also for those in the society, those sinners who have done great harm to humanity, those people who have hurt us so badly, and many more people who are striving to return to the Lord.

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