Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 14.02.2022
AMES 1: 1 – 11
James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greeting! Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways, will receive anything from the Lord. Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like the flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.
The Word of the Lord.
Psalm 119: 67 – 68, 71 – 72, 75 – 76 (R/.) 77a
R/. Show me compassion, Lord, that I may live.
Before I was humbled, I strayed,
but now I keep your word. R/.
You are good, and you do what is good;
teach me your statutes. R/.
It was good for me to be humbled,
that I might learn your statutes. R/.
The law from your mouth means more to me
than large quantities of silver and gold. R/.
O Lord, I know that your decrees are right;
though I am humbled, you are just. R/.
Let your merciful love console me
by your promise to your servant. R/.
I am the way, and the truth, and the life, says the Lord; no one comes to the Father but by me. Alleluia.
MARK 8: 11 – 13
At that time: The Pharisees came and began to argue with Jesus, seeking from him a sign from heaven, to test him. And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.” And he left them, and getting into the boat again he departed to the other side.
The Gospel of the Lord.
REFLECTION: Jesus Sighed…Deeply
February 14, 2022
The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with Jesus, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him. He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.” (Mark 8:11-12)
Jesus “sighed from the depth of His spirit.” It is clear this was no ordinary sigh. It was a sigh that was more than emotion. It was from the “depth of His spirit.” What was going on with Jesus?
This sigh reveals a pain and suffering in Jesus that was spiritual in nature. It was a pain and suffering that came as a result of being rejected by others. But it wasn’t just that He was hurt or offended, because He wasn’t. The suffering He felt was from His love. It came as a result of Him loving the Pharisees deeply and realizing that they were rejecting the grace He wanted to offer them. This hurt not because Jesus was sensitive to being hurt; rather, it hurt because of His boundless love for them.
It’s interesting that we rarely think of Jesus’ love for the Pharisees. Often, we only think of Him being harsh to them and condemning them. But every strong word He directed toward them was aimed at converting them out of love. It was an attempt, on His part, to shake them out of their indifference and rejection of grace. It was an act of love.
Reflect, today, upon the “Pharisees” in your life. Perhaps you do not encounter those who are proud or haughty, or maybe you do. The Pharisees in your life are those who reject the free gift of love you try to offer. They are those who are so hurt, confused or bitter that they find it very hard to let love in. They throw up every sort of defense there is to avoid letting your love in. And when you see this rejection, it hurts. It may then tempt you to have anger or condemnation.
But how should you react? You should do as Jesus did! You should sigh, and “sigh deeply.” You should feel the hurt of their rejection and feel holy sorrow for them. At times, you may need to confront them as Jesus did. But never out of your wounded pride. You should confront only because you judge that it’s the best way to win them over. You will know that this is an act of love when you feel that deep sigh within your spirit.
Loving Lord, help me to love with a pure and holy love. Help me to feel a holy sorrow over my sins and the sins of others when I encounter their sins. Let that holy sorrow compel me to love more deeply. Jesus, I trust in You.