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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 08.02.24

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 08.02.24

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1ST KINGS 11: 4 – 13

When Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods; and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not wholly follow the Lord, as David his father had done. Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem. And so he did for all his foreign wives, who burnt incense and sacrificed to their gods. And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not keep what the Lord commanded. Therefore the Lord said to Solomon, “Since this has been your mind and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and will give it to your servant. Yet for the sake of David your father I will not do it in your days, but I will tear it out of the hand of your son. However I will not tear away all the kingdom; but I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of David my servant and for the sake of Jerusalem which I have chosen.”

The Word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 106: 3 – 4, 35 – 36, 37 and 40 (R.) 4a

R/. O Lord, remember us with the favour you show to your people

Blessed are they who observe what is just,
who at all times do what is right.
O Lord, remember me
with the favour you show to your people.
Visit me with your saving power. R/.

Instead they mingled with the nations,
and learned to act as they did.
They also served their idols,
and these became a snare to entrap them. R/.

They even offered their sons
and their daughters in sacrifice to demons.
Then God’s anger blazed against his people;
He was filled with horror at his heritage. R/.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
James 1: 21bc

Alleluia.
Receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
Alleluia.

GOSPEL
“The dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”
MARK 7: 24 – 30

At that time: Jesus arose and went away to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house, and would not have any one know it; yet he could not be hidden. But immediately a woman, whose little daughter was possessed by an unclean spirit, heard of him,’ and came and fell down at his feet. Now the woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth. And she begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. And he said to her, “Let the children first be fed, for it is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” But she answered him, “Yes, Lord; yet even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” And he said to her, “For this saying you may go your way; the demon has left your daughter.” And she went home, and found the child lying in bed, and the demon gone.

The Gospel of the Lord.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: A Gentile’s Faith
February 8, 2024

Soon a woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him. She came and fell at his feet. The woman was a Greek, a Syrophoenician by birth, and she begged him to drive the demon out of her daughter. (Mark 7:25–26)

A parent’s love is powerful. And the woman in this story clearly loves her daughter. It is that love that drives this mother to seek out Jesus in the hope that He will free her daughter from the demon who possessed her. Interestingly, this woman was not of the Jewish faith. She was a Gentile, a foreigner, but her faith was very real and very deep.

When Jesus first encountered this woman, she begged Him to free her daughter from the demon. Jesus’ response was at first surprising. He said to her, “Let the children be fed first. For it is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” In other words, Jesus was saying that His mission was first to the people of Israel, the chosen people of the Jewish faith. They were the “children” of whom Jesus was speaking, and the Gentiles, such as this woman, were the ones referred to as “the dogs.” Jesus spoke this way to this woman not out of rudeness but because He could see her deep faith, and He wanted to give her an opportunity to manifest that faith for all to see. And so she did.

The woman responded to Jesus, “Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s scraps.” Her words were not only exceptionally humble but were also based on deep faith and a deep love for her daughter. As a result, Jesus responds with generosity and immediately frees her daughter from the demon.

In our own lives, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking we deserve the mercy of God. We can think that we have a right to God’s grace. And even though Jesus deeply desires to pour forth His grace and mercy in superabundance on our lives, it is essential that we fully understand our unworthiness before Him. The disposition of this woman’s heart sets for us a perfect example of how we must come to our Lord.

Reflect, today, upon the beautiful example of this woman of deep faith. Prayerfully read her words over and over. Try to understand her humility, her hope, and her love for her daughter. As you do, pray that you will be able to imitate her goodness so as to share in the blessings she and her daughter received.

PRAYER:
My merciful Lord, I trust in Your perfect love for me and for all peoples. I pray especially for those who carry heavy burdens and for those whose lives are deeply intertwined with evil. Please set them free, dear Lord, and welcome them into Your family so that they become true children of Your Father. May I have the humility and faith I need to help bring forth this abundance of grace for others. Jesus, I trust in You.

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