DAILY MASS READINGS (February 12, 2020)

WEDNESDAY OF THE 5TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR II, Green)

Reading 1 (1 KINGS 10:1-10)

A reading from the 1st Book of Kings

The queen of Sheba, having heard of Solomon’s fame,
came to test him with subtle questions.
She arrived in Jerusalem with a very numerous retinue,
and with camels bearing spices,
a large amount of gold, and precious stones.
She came to Solomon and questioned him on every subject
in which she was interested.
King Solomon explained everything she asked about,
and there remained nothing hidden from him
that he could not explain to her.

When the queen of Sheba witnessed Solomon’s great wisdom,
the palace he had built, the food at his table,
the seating of his ministers, the attendance and garb of his waiters,
his banquet service,
and the burnt offerings he offered in the temple of the LORD,
she was breathless.
“The report I heard in my country
about your deeds and your wisdom is true,” she told the king.
“Though I did not believe the report until I came and saw with my own eyes,
I have discovered that they were not telling me the half.
Your wisdom and prosperity surpass the report I heard.
Blessed are your men, blessed these servants of yours,
who stand before you always and listen to your wisdom.
Blessed be the LORD, your God,
whom it has pleased to place you on the throne of Israel.
In his enduring love for Israel,
the LORD has made you king to carry out judgment and justice.”
Then she gave the king one hundred and twenty gold talents,
a very large quantity of spices, and precious stones.
Never again did anyone bring such an abundance of spices
as the queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon.

— The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 37:5-6, 30-31, 39-40)

R.    (30a)  The mouth of the just murmurs wisdom.
Commit to the LORD your way;
trust in him, and he will act.
He will make justice dawn for you like the light;
bright as the noonday shall be your vindication.
R.    The mouth of the just murmurs wisdom.
The mouth of the just man tells of wisdom
and his tongue utters what is right.
The law of his God is in his heart,
and his steps do not falter.
R.    The mouth of the just murmurs wisdom.
The salvation of the just is from the LORD;
he is their refuge in time of distress.
And the LORD helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.
R.    The mouth of the just murmurs wisdom.

Alleluia (JOHN 17:17b, 17a)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Your word, O Lord, is truth:
consecrate us in the truth.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel (MARK 7:14-23)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark

Jesus summoned the crowd again and said to them,
“Hear me, all of you, and understand.
Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person;
but the things that come out from within are what defile.”

When he got home away from the crowd
his disciples questioned him about the parable.
He said to them,
“Are even you likewise without understanding?
Do you not realize that everything
that goes into a person from outside cannot defile,
since it enters not the heart but the stomach
and passes out into the latrine?”
(Thus he declared all foods clean.)
“But what comes out of the man, that is what defiles him.
From within the man, from his heart,
come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder,
adultery, greed, malice, deceit,
licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly.
All these evils come from within and they defile.”

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: The First Reading narrates the visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon in Israel. The queen has heard about the wisdom of Solomon, and so she decided to test the king. Solomon manifests how wise he is by that gift given to him by the Lord. And there the queen praised the Solomon’s God, who is the God of Israel and the Almighty Lord of heaven and earth. The Gospel depicts how the Jews observe the restriction for eating anything that is blood. For they believe that blood is sacred, and anyone who eats such is considered unclean. No wonder non-Catholics would question why we Catholics are eating food that have blood (particularly dinuguan). But here Jesus exemplifies that what makes people impure is not the food they eat, but the evil intentions of his mind. What causes this defilement is impure thoughts and immoral acts done to please oneself, and not please God. Remember when Saint Peter had a vision of animals in a mat, which he was commanded to it. He called this impure, but God told him not to profane what he (the Lord) has made. Everything that God makes is good even man, but if man does not honor goodness and clings to what is evil in this world, then he is already defiled. But if he honors goodness and does the right things and observes the values and virtues of the kingdom, then he makes his soul clean for the Lord.

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