February 25, 2020
First Reading: James 4:1-10
1 What causes wars, and what causes fightings among you? Is it not your passions that are at war in your members? 2 You desire and do not have; so you kill. And you covet and cannot obtain; so you fight and wage war. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. 4 Unfaithful creatures! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you suppose it is in vain that the scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit which he has made to dwell in us”? 6 But he gives more grace; therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you men of double mind. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to dejection. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.
Psalm: 55:7-11, 23
6 And I say, “O that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest; 7 yea, I would wander afar, I would lodge in the wilderness, [Selah] 8 I would haste to find me a shelter from the raging wind and tempest.” 9 Destroy their plans, O Lord, confuse their tongues; for I see violence and strife in the city. 10 Day and night they go around it on its walls; and mischief and trouble are within it, 22 Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.
Gospel: Mark 9:30-37
30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he would not have any one know it; 31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of man will be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him; and when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” 32 But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to ask him. 33 And they came to Caper’na-um; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 34 But they were silent; for on the way they had discussed with one another who was the greatest. 35 And he sat down and called the twelve; and he said to them, “If any one would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” 36 And he took a child, and put him in the midst of them; and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”
Reflection for the day: “Prayer must be humble: God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Here St. James tells us that God does not listen to the prayers of the proud, but resists them; while, on the other hand, he is always ready to hear the prayers of the humble: The prayer of the man that humbleth himself shall pierce the clouds, . . . and he will not depart till the Most High behold. The prayer of an humble soul at once penetrates the heavens and presents itself before the throne of God, and will not depart thence till God regards it and listens to it. However sinful such a soul may be, God can never despise a heart that repents of its sins, and humbles itself: A contrite and humbled heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise.” — St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori