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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 22.01.24

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 22.01.24

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2ND SAMUEL 5: 1 – 7, 10

In those days: All the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron, and said, “Behold, we are your bone and flesh. In times past, when Saul was king over us, it was you that led out and brought in Israel; and the Lord said to you, ‘You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince over Israel. ”’ So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron; and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. At Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months; and at Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years. And the king and his men went to Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, who said to David, “You will not come in here, but the blind and the lame will ward you off’ — thinking, “David cannot come in here.” Nevertheless David took the stronghold of Zion, that is, the city of David. And David became greater and greater, for the Lord, the God of hosts, was with him.

The Word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM 
Psalm 59: 20, 21 – 22, 25 – 26 (R.) 25a

R/. My mercy and my faithfulness shall be with him.

Then you spoke in a vision.
To your faithful ones you said,
“I have set the crown on a warrior,
I have exalted one chosen from the people. R/.

I have found my servant David,
and with my holy oil anointed him.
My hand shall always be with him,
and my arm shall make him strong. R/.

My mercy and my faithfulness shall be with him;
by my name his might shall be exalted.
I will stretch out his hand to the Sea,
and his right hand upon the Rivers. R/.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION 
2nd Timothy 1: 10

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

GOSPEL        
“Satan is coming to an end.”
MARK 3: 22 – 30

At that time: The scribes who came down from Jerusalem said of Jesus, “He is possessed by Beelzebul, and by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.” And he called them to him, and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man; then indeed he may plunder his house. “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin” – for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

GOSPEL REFLECTION: Daily Humble Repentance


January 22, 2024

The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said of Jesus, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “By the prince of demons he drives out demons.” (Mark 3:22)

By this time, Jesus was fully engaged in His public ministry. He had healed the sick and lame, cast out many demons, called the Twelve Apostles and given them authority over evil spirits, and preached the Good News to many. Just prior to this Gospel passage, some of Jesus’ own extended family had criticized Him, claiming that Jesus was out of His mind. Then the scribes began their public condemnation of our Lord.

The scribes were faced with a dilemma. They saw Jesus cast out demons from those who were possessed, so they needed to come up with an explanation. They concluded that Jesus was able to cast out demons by the power of the prince of demons. Jesus goes on to address the scribes’ criticism by identifying their condemnation as a sin against the Holy Spirit. Jesus explains that every sin can be forgiven except the sin against the Holy Spirit. He says that “whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin.” Why is that?

In this case, the sin against the Holy Spirit is not only the false condemnation spoken by the scribes against Jesus. First and foremost, their sin is one of obstinacy. They spoke falsely about our Lord, which is a grave sin, but what’s worse is that they did so in such a way that they remained firmly grounded in their error. They refused to humble themselves and reconsider their error. And it is this stubbornness that leaves them with an “everlasting sin.”

Perhaps the most important lesson we can learn from this passage is that we must avoid remaining stuck in our pride in an obstinate way. We must always be humble and be ready and willing to reexamine our actions. Humility will help us to perpetually remember that we can easily become misled in life. And though this will happen from time to time in various ways, if we remain humble and open to change, then we can always receive the mercy of God and find forgiveness. But if we are prideful and continually refuse to admit our errors, then we are also potentially guilty of a sin against the Holy Spirit.

Reflect, today, upon any tendency you have in your life to be stubborn. Stubbornness can be a virtue when the stubbornness is an unwavering commitment to the Gospel and to the will of God. However, you must always intentionally reexamine the path you are on so that you can change when that path begins to deviate from the Truth of God. Humble yourself this day and allow God’s voice to lead you back from any errors with which you now struggle.

PRAYER:
My merciful Jesus, I sin every day and will continue to fail to follow You with perfection. For this reason, I thank You for Your abundant mercy. Please help me to always be open to that mercy by regularly re-examining my decisions in life. Give me humility, dear Lord, to always repent and to turn back to You when I stray. Jesus, I trust in You.

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