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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 20.02.2023

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 20.02.2023


SIRACH 1: 1 – 10

All wisdom comes from the Lord and is with him forever. The sand of the sea, the drops of rain, and the days of eternity — who can count them? The height of heaven, the breadth of the earth, the abyss, and wisdom — who can search them out? Wisdom was created before all things, and prudent understanding from eternity. The source of wisdom is God’s word in the highest heaven, and her ways are the eternal commandments. The root of wisdom to whom has it been revealed? Her clever devices — who knows them? The knowledge of wisdom — to whom was it manifested? And her abundant experience — who has understood it? There is one who is wise, the Creator of all, the King greatly to be feared, sitting upon his throne, and ruling as God. The Lord himself created wisdom in the Holy Spirit; he saw her and apportioned her, he poured her out upon all his works. She dwells with all flesh according to his gift, and he supplied her to those who love him.

The Word of the Lord.

Psalm 93: 1abc, 1d – 2, 5 (R.) 1a

R/. The Lord is king, with majesty enrobed.

The LORD is king, with majesty enrobed.
The Lord has robed himself with might,
he has girded himself with power. R/.

The world you made firm, not to be moved;
your throne has stood firm from of old.
From all eternity, O Lord, you are. R/.

Truly your decrees are to be trusted.
Holiness is fitting to your house,
O Lord, until the end of time. R/.

2nd Timothy 1:10

Our Saviour Christ Jesus abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.

“I believe, help my unbelief.”
MARK 9: 14 – 29

At that time: [When Jesus came down the mountain with Peter and James and John] and they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd about them, and scribes arguing with them. And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed, and ran up to him and greeted him. And he asked them, “What are you discussing with them?” And one of the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a mute spirit; and wherever it seizes him, it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” And they brought the boy to him; and when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, “How long has he had this?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us.” And Jesus said to him, “If you can! All things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again.” And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse; so that most of them said, “He is dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer and fasting.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

February 20, 2023

As Jesus came down from the mountain with Peter, James, John and approached the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and scribes arguing with them. (Mark 9:14)

This line, from the beginning of today’s Gospel, reveals a transition from an experience of incredible glory to one that is very sad. On the mountain, Jesus was transfigured before three of His disciples, and a small glimpse of His divine essence was revealed to them. The three disciples were overwhelmed with joy and amazement. But as they came down the mountain, they immediately encountered an argument between the scribes and the people.

The argument had to do with a man who brought his son to Jesus’ disciples for healing. The boy had been possessed by a mute and deaf spirit from childhood, and the disciples were unable to cast the demon out. What’s more, the scribes appear to be critical of the whole situation, and the father appears to lack faith. Jesus’ response to them all was, “O faithless generation, how long will I be with you? How long will I endure you? Bring him to me.” After the boy was brought to Jesus, Jesus did two things for the boy. First, He commanded the demon to “come out of him.” Second, He told the demon to “never enter him again.”

Though there is much we can learn from this passage, it’s worth pondering this twofold command of Jesus. Certainly, to set the boy free from the possession of this demon was significant and life-changing. But this act of mercy would have ultimately ended in tragedy if the demon were to reenter the boy after Jesus left. Therefore, the second command, forbidding the demon to ever enter him again, is also an act of great mercy.

One thing this should teach us is that overcoming evil is not enough. This is because the temptations and oppressions that come from the legion of fallen angels are continuous and relentless. It often happens that once a person finds freedom from some diabolical influence and from some sin, they later fall back into that sin as they become lax. Therefore, we must always remember that once we overcome some sin, temptation or oppression, we must perpetually remain vigilant so that we do not fall back into these evils. Ongoing vigilance is essential if we are to remain firmly grounded on the road to virtue and holiness.

Reflect, today, upon any temptation you have endured and overcome, only to later fall into it again. Reflect, especially, upon the importance of the vigilance that is necessary so as to not only refrain from returning to your former sins but to also move forward in holiness and virtue. The evil one never relents, but God is even more relentless in His compassion and grace. Keep moving forward in the spiritual life so that you never slip and fall back into previous sin.

Most glorious Lord, I turn to You in confidence and beg that You not only free me from the sins with which I struggle, but that You also keep me from ever turning back to them once I am free. May I always move forward toward You and never become lax in my journey of faith. Jesus, I trust in You.

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