Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Wednesday 7TH Week in Ordinary Time
February 26, 2014
Wednesday 7TH Week in Ordinary Time
Jas 4:1-17 / Ps 49:2-3, 6-11 / Mk 9:38-40
Reading: Jas 4:1-17
What causes these fights and quarrels among you? Is it not your cravings that make war within your own selves? When you long for something you cannot have, you kill for it and when you do not get what you desire, you squabble and fight. The fact is, you do not have what you want because you do not pray for it. You pray for something and you do not get it because you pray with the wrong motive of indulging your pleasures. You adulterers! Don't you know that making friends with the world makes you enemies of God? Therefore, whoever chooses to be the world's friend becomes God's enemy. Can you not see the point of the saying in Scripture: "The longing of the spirit he sent to dwell in us is a jealous longing?" But God has something better to give, and Scripture also says, God opposes the proud but he gives his favor to the humble. Give in, then, to God; resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw close to God and he will come close to you. Clean your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you doubters. Recognize your distress, be miserable and weep. Turn your laughter into tears and your joy into sadness. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will raise you up. Brothers and sisters, do not criticize one another. Anyone who speaks against or condemns another, speaks against the Law and condemns the Law. If, however, you condemn the Law, you are no longer an observer of the Law but a judge of it. There is only one lawgiver and one judge: he who has the power to save or condemn. So you, who are you to judge your neighbor? Listen now, you who speak like this, "Today or tomorrow we will go off to this city and spend a year there; we will do business and make money." You have no idea what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? No more than a mist which appears for a moment and then disappears. Instead of this, you should say, "God willing, we will live and do this or that." But no! You boast of your plans: this brazen pride is wicked. Anyone who knows what is good and does not do it, sins.
Gospel: Mk 9: 38-40
John said to him, "Master, we saw someone who drove out demons by calling upon your name, and we tried to forbid him because he does not belong to our group." Jesus answered, "Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in my name can soon after speak evil of me. For whoever is not against us is for us."
In the First Reading, James gives us a rich counsel on Christian life starting with disunity among Christians, revealing to us the root of disunity which is actually coming from within one's self. Our desire to get what we want manifests itself externally and can cause the turmoil that destroys communion. James warns us on worldly desires that oppose the spiritual life, describing those with these desires as adulterous wives for they are unfaithful to the Lord. If you find yourself choosing the world instead of God, let us accept the invitation of James to weep for this wretched situation. The Lord is pleased with the tears coming from a sorrowful heart that is mourning for his own sins. Yet the reality is that we rarely weep for our sins. Why is that? It is because, first of all, we do not recognize our sinfulness. We do not realize that we are enemies of God. To weep for one's sins is a gift we can ask for. God is always pleased with a humble and contrite heart; and to the humble one, he gives generously; first and foremost, he endows grace.
James also warns us against slander among Christians for the only one who can judge is the Lord. For us, it is difficult not to judge because everyone thinks of himself as better than the other. We think we are always right and cannot look at something from someone else's point of view. Little do we know that if we were in the place of the other, with the same history and circumstances, we would have done the same or even worse. James also cautions us from being too confident. A Christian knows that nothing is ever sure. The only sure thing in life is death, which visits every individual sooner or later. Everything else is up to the Lord. We do not even know if we will get up the next morning, so how can we be confident in our plans, in our projections. Only if God wills it, will one's plans come to fruition.
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.
… 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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