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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 06.02.24

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 06.02.24

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1ST KINGS 8: 22 – 23, 27 – 30

In those days: Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel, and spread forth his hands towards heaven; and said, “O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing mercy to your servants who walk before you with all their heart. But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house which I have built! Yet have regard to the prayer of your servant and to his supplication, O Lord my God, listening to the cry and to the prayer which your servant prays before you this day; that your eyes may be open night and day towards this house, the place of which you have said, ‘My name shall be, there,’ that you may listen to the prayer which your servant offers towards this place. And listen to the supplication of your servant and of your people Israel, when they pray towards this place; yes, hear in heaven your dwelling place; and when you hear, forgive.”

The Word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 84: 3, 4, 5, 10, 11 (R.) 2

R/. How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!

My soul is longing and yearning
for the courts of the Lord.
My heart and my flesh cry out
to the living God. R/.

Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself
in which she sets her young, at your altars,
O Lord of hosts, my king and my God. R/.

Blessed are they who dwell in your house,
forever singing your praise.
Turn your eyes, O God, our shield;
look on the face of your anointed. R/.

One day within your courts
is better than a thousand elsewhere.
The threshold of the house of God
I prefer to the dwellings of the wicked. R/.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
Psalm 119: 36a, 29b

Alleluia.
Bend my heart, O God, to your decrees, grant me mercy by your law.
Alleluia.

GOSPEL
“You leave the commandment of God, and holdfast the tradition of’ men.”
MARK 7: 1 – 13

At that time: When the Pharisees gathered together to Jesus, with some of the scribes, who had come from Jerusalem, they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands defiled, that is, unwashed. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they wash their hands, observing the tradition of the elders; and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless they purify themselves; there are many other traditions which they observe, the washing of cups and pots and vessels of bronze.) And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with hands defiled?” And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honours me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’ You leave the commandment of God, and hold fast the tradition of men.” And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God, in order to keep your tradition! For Moses said, ‘Honour your father and your mother’; and ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him surely die’; but you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, what you would have gained from me is Corban’ (that is, given to God) — then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of God through your tradition which you hand on. And many such things you do.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

GOSPEL REFLECTION: Worship From the Heart
February 6, 2024

When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus, they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands. (Mark 7:6–8)

It seems quite clear that Jesus’ instant fame led these religious leaders to jealousy and envy, and they wanted to find fault with Him. As a result, they carefully observed Jesus and His disciples, and they noticed that Jesus’ disciples were not following the traditions of the elders. So the leaders began questioning Jesus about this fact. Jesus’ response was one of severe criticism of them. He quoted Isaiah the prophet who said, “This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.”

Jesus strongly criticized them because their hearts were lacking true worship. The various traditions of the elders were not necessarily bad, such as the careful ceremonial washing of one’s hands before eating. But these traditions were empty if they were not motivated by a deep faith and love of God. The external following of human traditions was not truly an act of divine worship, and that’s what Jesus wanted for them. He wanted their hearts to be set ablaze with a love of God and with true divine worship.

What our Lord wants of each one of us is worship. Pure, heartfelt, sincere worship. He wants us to love God with a deep interior devotion. He wants us to pray, to listen to Him, and to serve His holy will with all the powers of our soul. And this is only possible when we engage in authentic worship.

As Catholics, our life of prayer and worship is grounded in the holy Liturgy. The Liturgy incorporates many traditions and practices that reflect our faith and become a vehicle of the grace of God. And though the Liturgy itself is far different from the mere “tradition of the elders” that Jesus was criticizing, it’s useful to remind ourselves that the many Liturgies of our Church must move from the external actions to interior worship. Going through the motions alone is pointless. We must allow God to act on us and within us as we engage in the external celebration of the Sacraments.

Reflect, today, upon the burning desire in the heart of our Lord to draw you into worship. Reflect upon how well you allow yourself to be drawn into this worship every time you attend the holy Mass. Seek to make your participation not only an exterior one but, first and foremost, an interior one. Doing so will help ensure that the rebuke of our Lord upon the scribes and Pharisees does not also fall upon you.

PRAYER:
My divine Lord, You and You alone are worthy of all worship, adoration and praise. You and You alone deserve the worship I offer You from the depths of my heart. Help me and Your entire Church to always interiorize our exterior acts of worship so as to give You the glory that is due Your holy name. Jesus, I trust in You.

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