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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 13.02.24

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 13.02.24

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JAMES 1: 12 – 18

Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one; but each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.

The Word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 94: 12 – 13a, 14 – 15, 18 – 19 (R.) 12a

R/. Blessed the man whom you discipline, O Lord.

Blessed the man whom you discipline, O Lord,
Whom you train by means of your law;
To whom you give peace in evil days. R/.

The Lord will not abandon his people,
Nor forsake those who are his heritage;
For judgement shall again be just,
And all true hearts shall uphold it. R/.

When I think, “I have lost my foothold,”
Your mercy, O Lord, holds me up.
When cares increase in my heart,
Your consolation calms my soul. R/.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION
John 14: 23

Alleluia.
If a man loves me, he will keep my word, says the Lord; and my father will love him, and we will come to him.
Alleluia.

GOSPEL
“Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod.”
MARK 8: 14 – 21

At that time: The disciples had forgotten to bring bread; and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. And Jesus cautioned them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” And they discussed it with one another, saying, “We have no bread.” And being aware of it, Jesus said to them, “Why do you discuss the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” They said to him, “Twelve.” “And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” And they said to him, “Seven.” And he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?”

The Gospel of the Lord.

GOSPEL REFLECTION: Comprehending the Mysteries of Heaven
February 13, 2024

“Do you not yet understand or comprehend? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear?” (Mark 8:17–18)

How would you answer these questions that Jesus posed to His disciples if He had posed them to you? It takes humility to admit that you do not yet understand or comprehend, that your heart is in fact hardened, and that you fail to see and hear all that God has revealed. Of course there are various levels to these struggles, so hopefully you do not struggle with them to a grave degree. But if you can humbly confess that you do struggle with these to a certain extent, then that humility and honesty will gain you much grace.

Jesus posed these questions to His disciples within the larger context of a discussion about the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod. He knew that the “leaven” of these leaders was like a yeast that corrupted others. Their dishonesty, pride, desire for honors and the like had a seriously negative affect upon the faith of others. So by posing these questions above, Jesus challenged His disciples to see this evil leaven and to reject it.

Seeds of doubt and confusion are all around us. It seems these days that almost everything the secular world promotes is in some way contrary to the Kingdom of God. And yet, just like the disciples’ inability to see the evil leaven of the Pharisees and Herod, we also frequently fail to see the evil leaven within our society. Instead, we allow the many errors to confuse us and lead us down the path of secularism.

One thing this should teach us is that just because someone has some form of authority or power within society does not mean that they are a truthful and holy leader. And though it’s never our place to judge the heart of another, we absolutely must have “ears to hear” and “eyes to see” the many errors that are held up within our world as good. We must constantly seek to “understand and comprehend” the laws of God and use them as a guide against the lies within the world. One important way to make sure we do this well is to make sure that our hearts never become hardened to the truth.

Reflect, today, upon these questions of our Lord and examine them especially within the broader context of society as a whole. Consider the false “leaven” taught by our world and by so many in positions of authority. Reject these errors and recommit yourself to the full embrace of the holy mysteries of Heaven so that those truths and those truths alone become your daily guide.

PRAYER:
My glorious Lord, I thank You for being the Lord of all Truth. Help me to daily turn my eyes and ears to that Truth so that I will be able to see the evil leaven all around me. Give me wisdom and the gift of discernment, dear Lord, so that I will be able to immerse myself into the mysteries of Your holy life. Jesus, I trust in You.

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