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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 16.02.2023

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 16.02.2023


GENESIS 9: 1 – 13

God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every bird of the air, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea; into your hand they are delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; and as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. Only you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. For your lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning; of every beast I will require it and of man; of every man’s brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in his own image. And you, be fruitful and multiply, bring forth abundantly on the earth and multiply in it.” Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, “Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the cattle, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.”

The Word of the Lord.

Psalm 102: 16 – 18, 19 – 21, 29 and 22 – 23 (R.) 20b

R/. The Lord looked down from heaven to the earth.

The nations shall fear the name of the Lord,
and all the earth’s kings your glory.
When the Lord shall build up Sion,
he will appear in all his glory.
Then he will turn to the prayers of the helpless;
he will not despise their prayers. R/.

Let this be written for ages to come,
that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord;
the Lord looked down from his holy place on high,
looked down from heaven to the earth,
to hear the groans of the prisoners,
and free those condemned to die. R/.

The children of your servants shall dwell untroubled,
and their descendants established before you.
May the name of the Lord be
proclaimed in Sion, and his praise in Jerusalem,
when peoples and kingdoms are gathered
as one to offer their worship to the Lord. R/.

John 6: 63c,68c

Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life; you have the words of eternal life.

“You are the Christ. The Son of man must suffer many things.”
MARK 8: 27 – 33

At that time: Jesus went on with his disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that I am?” And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others one of the prophets.” And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” And he charged them to tell no one about him. And he began to teach them that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. And he said this plainly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter, and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not on the side of God, but of men.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

GOSPEL REFLECTION: Understand, Accept, Embrace
February 16, 2023

Jesus and his disciples set out for the villages of Caesarea Philippi. Along the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” (Mark 8:27)

In answer to this question, the disciples informed Jesus that some thought He was “John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others one of the prophets.” But then Jesus asked the disciples who they thought He was. It was Peter who responded by saying, “You are the Christ.”

As we ponder this exchange between Jesus and the disciples, try to hear our Lord ask you the same question. “But who do you say that I am?” Though you most likely will find this easy to answer on an intellectual level, don’t answer it too quickly. Think about it. Deep within your soul, what do you believe about Jesus?

Though Peter’s answer is the correct answer, it’s important to ponder what that actually means. This is especially evident by the fact that as soon as Jesus began to explain His mission as the Christ, Peter could not accept it. Jesus explained to Peter and the other disciples that, as the Christ, he would “suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days.” In other words, Jesus wanted the disciples to understand the essence of His mission. His mission was one in which He would become the sacrificial Lamb of God and die for our sins. But this was too much for the disciples to immediately understand, accept and embrace with gratitude.

Do you understand, accept and embrace this primary mission of Jesus? Do you understand that because of the sins you have personally committed, you need a Savior? Do you understand that the consequences of your sins are death? Eternal death? And do you further understand that it is only by Jesus’ death that all sin and death are destroyed?

Sometimes we can fall into the fallacy of thinking that Jesus is only an inspirational figure Who teaches us how we should live. And though that is true, Jesus is so much more. He is the one and only way to Heaven. Without His death and resurrection we cannot attain Heaven. He is the one and only Savior. The Lamb Who was slain for our sins. The one and only source of eternal redemption. The exclusive bridge between Heaven and humanity. And though you might understand this intellectually to a certain extent, your faith in this fact must enter deeply into your soul so that you can believe it and embrace His gift of eternal salvation within the deepest core of your being. This takes a radical understanding, acceptance and embrace if we are to truly receive the gift of Jesus’ life.

Reflect, today, upon how you would answer this question from our Lord. “Who do YOU say that I am?” If you are to answer this correctly, then it requires that you continually deepen your understanding, acceptance and full embrace of the saving mission of our Lord. Though this is a lifelong process, we must never stop entering more deeply into this divine mystery and gift so that we will become completely transformed by the life, death and resurrection of He Who is the Christ of God.

Saving Lord, please open my mind and heart to You more deeply this day and every day of my life. May I continually go deeper in my faith and understanding of You and Your divine mission of salvation. As I do, please transform me more and more so that I will be more fully disposed to receive all that You came to bestow upon me. Jesus, I trust in You.

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