Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Thursday 6th Week in Ordinary Time
February 20, 2014
Thursday 6th Week in Ordinary Time
Jas 2: 1-9 / Ps 34: 2-3,4-5,6-7 / Mk 8: 27-33
Reading: Jas 2:1-9
My brothers and sisters, if you truly believe in our glorified Lord, Jesus Christ, you will not discriminate between persons. Suppose a person enters the synagogue where you are assembled, dressed magnificently and wearing a gold ring; at the same time, a poor person enters dressed in rags. If you focus your attention on the well-dressed and say, "Come and sit in the best seat," while to the poor one you say, "Stay standing or else sit down at my feet," have you not, in fact, made a distinction between the two? Have you not judged, using a double standard? Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters, did God not choose the poor of this world to receive the riches of faith and to inherit the kingdom which he has promised to those who love him? Yet you despise them! Is it not the rich who are against you and drag you to court? Do they not insult the holy name of Christ by which you are called? If you keep the Law of the Kingdom, according to Scripture: Love your neighbor as yourself, you do well; but if you make distinctions between persons, you break the law and are condemned by the same law.
Gospel: Mk 8: 27-33
Jesus set out with his disciples for the villages around Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked them, "Who do people say I am?" And they told him, "Some say you are John the Baptist; others say you are Elijah or one of the prophets." Then Jesus asked them, "But you, who do you say I am?" Peter answered, "You are the Messiah." And he ordered them not to tell anyone about him. Jesus then began to teach them that the Son of Man had to suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the Law. He would be killed, and after three days rise again. Jesus said all this quite openly, so that Peter took him aside and began to protest strongly. But Jesus turning around, and looking at his disciples, rebuked Peter, saying, "Get behind me, Satan! You are thinking not as God does, but as people do."
For the Jews, the messiah they were expecting was envisioned as a triumphant king who was to restore the Davidic kingdom and not a convicted criminal. Now, if we put ourselves in the shoes of Peter with his first century Jewish mindset, would we have reacted any differently from the way he did? Furthermore, why did the evangelist who was supposed to be Peter's interpreter and companion put his mentor in a very bad light? According to biblical scholars, these must also be authentic because there is no good reason to include these verses which tend to put the first pope in a very negative situation. Therefore there must have been a very good reason for its inclusion.
Through this episode, the evangelist emphasized our Lord's teaching that to be his follower is to follow him on the way of the cross. There is no other way. The way of love entails sacrifice, pain and suffering. God, who is love, stripped himself of his divinity to be one of us, vulnerable to pain, hunger, and all the weaknesses which come with being human. Incidentally, there is a Chinese word for love which can also mean pain or hurt.
Who then is God for us? Can we who claim to be followers of Christ also accept the way of the cross? Are we prepared to respond to his love which led him to a horrible and painful death on the cross?
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
... for families who are in need of healing.
* Romie Ang, Rose Lee, Zheny Balatbat
... for special intentions
* Joanna Zuniga & friends
* Art & Elivie Zuniga family
* Beny Chua
... for the repose of the soul
* Lucenita Sartaguda
* Boy Aranzanso, Tereence Dihiasan
... thanksgiving for the gift of life
* Med Villanueva
... for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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