DAILY MASS READINGS (February 24, 2020)


Reading 1 (JAMES 3:13-18)

A reading from the Letter of St. James

Who among you is wise and understanding?
Let him show his works by a good life   
in the humility that comes from wisdom.
But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts,
do not boast and be false to the truth.
Wisdom of this kind does not come down from above
but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.
For 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.

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 19:8, 9, 10, 15)

R.    (9a)  The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul;
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple.
R.    The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.
The precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
The command of the LORD is clear,
enlightening the eye.
R.    The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.
The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever;
The ordinances of the LORD are true,
all of them just.
R.    The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.
Let the words of my mouth and the thought of my heart
find favor before you,
O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
R.    The precepts of the Lord give joy to the heart.

Alleluia (2 TIMOTHY 1:10)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death
and brought life to light through the Gospel.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel (MARK 9:14-29)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark

As Jesus came down from the mountain with Peter, James, John
and approached the other disciples,
they saw a large crowd around them and scribes arguing with them.
Immediately on seeing him,
the whole crowd was utterly amazed.
They ran up to him and greeted him.
He asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?”
Someone from the crowd answered him,
“Teacher, I have brought to you my son possessed by a mute spirit.
Wherever it seizes him, it throws him down;
he foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and becomes rigid.
I asked your disciples to drive it out, but they were unable to do so.”
He said to them in reply,
“O faithless generation, how long will I be with you?
How long will I endure you?  Bring him to me.”
They brought the boy to him.
And when he saw him,
the spirit immediately threw the boy into convulsions.
As he fell to the ground, he began to roll around   
and foam at the mouth.
Then he questioned his father,
“How long has this been happening to him?”
He replied, “Since childhood.
It has often thrown him into fire and into water to kill him.
But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
Jesus said to him,
“‘If you can!’ Everything is possible to one who has faith.”
Then the boy’s father cried out, “I do believe, help my unbelief!”
Jesus, on seeing a crowd rapidly gathering,
rebuked the unclean spirit and said to it,
“Mute and deaf spirit, I command you:
come out of him and never enter him again!”
Shouting and throwing the boy into convulsions, it came out.
He became like a corpse, which caused many to say, “He is dead!”
But Jesus took him by the hand, raised him, and he stood up.
When he entered the house, his disciples asked him in private,
“Why could we not drive the spirit out?”
He said to them, “This kind can only come out through prayer.”

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: The First Reading is an exhortation towards wisdom and peace. Saint James reminds us to be humble and sincere in our goodness. He also warns us to remove jealousy and selfish ambition from us that causes division, hatred, and brokenness in our relationship with others and most especially with the Lord. So the challenge for us is to be wise before the sight of the Lord, especially with how we relate ourselves with others as children of the Father. The Gospel Reading gives us a picture of how the power of God is present in Jesus. We see here a faithless father who has been doubting and searching for a cure for his son being tormented by a demon. He also narrated to Jesus how the boy would attempt to go to drown in the lake and even to cast in the fire. Earlier the father has brought his son to the disciples, however they have not cured him. Even with all the worry and fear of the man, Jesus eases his emotions by assuring him that nothing is impossible to one who has faith. At this he humbles himself before the Lord to help his unbelief. And at the moment, Jesus has driven out the evil spirit from the boy, and the family has rejoiced for this spectacular occasion. This great miracle shows how faith is regarded as the “fear of the Lord”. Truly nothing is impossible for God to do for us what we need based on his time if we truly believe. And if we are truly faithful to him, thus we are also called to manifest this faith through our relationship with other people.

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