6th Week in Ordinary Time
Psalter: Week 2
Ps 112:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
Blessed the man who greatly delights In the Lord's commands.
1st Reading: Jas 2:14-24, 26
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, to profess faith, without showing works? Such faith has no power to save you. If a brother or sister is in need of clothes or food, and one of you says, “May things go well for you; be warm and satis?ed,” without attending to their material needs, what good is that? So, it is, for faith without deeds: it is totally dead.
Say to whoever challenges you, “You have faith and I have good deeds; show me your faith apart from actions and I, for my part, will show you my faith in the way I act.” Do you believe there is one God? Well enough, but do not forget, that the demons, also, believe, and tremble with fear!
You foolish one, do you have to be convinced, that faith without deeds is useless? Think of our father Abraham. Was he not justi?ed by the act of offering his son Isaac on the altar? So you see, his faith was active, along with his deeds, and became perfect by what he did. The word of Scripture was thus ful?lled, Abraham believed in God so he was considered a righteous person and he was called the friend of God.
So you see, a person is justi?ed by works, and not by faith alone.
So, just as the body is dead without its spirit, so faith, without deeds is also dead.
Gospel: Mark 8:34—9:1
Then Jesus called the people and his disciples, and said, “If you want to follow me, deny yourself; take up your cross and follow me. For if you choose to save your life, you will lose it; and if you lose your life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, you will save it.
What good is it, to gain the whole world, while destroying your soul? There is nothing more precious than your soul. I tell you, if anyone is ashamed of me and of my words, among this adulterous and sinful people, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
And he went on to say, “Truly I tell you, there are some here who will not die before they see the kingdom of God coming with power.”
Following someone means the willingness to be led and be taught. This entails self divestment. Someone full of himself or herself cannot listen to others. The harder the lessons are, the more effort one must exert to accept it. Learning is easy if we have confidence and trust in the teacher. After all, it is the person of the teacher that carries more weight in the teaching process. It is not his or her words alone nor his or her action apart. It is the totality of his or her person. It is for this reason why following of Jesus entails trust and confidence in Him. Following is easy if one believes. Faith matters. May we have it in abundance to follow the Lord even unto death.
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