Readings and Reflection for February 19, Saturday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

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FIRST READING
“No human being can tame the tongue.”
A reading from the Letter of Saint James (James 3: 1-10)

Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, for you know that we who teach shall be judged with greater strictness. For we all make many mistakes, and if any one makes no mistakes in what he says he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body also. If we put bits into the mouths of horses that they may obey us, we guide their whole bodies. Look at the ships also; though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So the tongue is a little member and boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire! And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is an unrighteous world among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the cycle of nature, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue — a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brethren, this ought not to be so.

The word of the Lord

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 12:2-3.4-5.7-8 (R. 8a)
R/. It is you, O Lord, who will keep us safe.

Save me, O Lord, for the holy ones are no more;
the faithful have vanished from the sons of men.
They babble vanities, one to another,
with cunning lips, with divided heart. R/.

May the Lord destroy all cunning lips,
the tongue that utters boastful words, those who say,
“We prevail with our tongue;
our lips are our own, who is our master?” R/.

R/. It is you, O Lord, who will keep us safe.

The words of the Lord are words without alloy,
silver from the furnace, seven times refined.
It is you, O Lord, who will keep us safe,
and protect us forever from this generation. R/.

ALLELUIA Mark 9:6
Alleluia. The heavens opened, and the Father’s voice was heard: “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” Alleluia.

GOSPEL
“He was transfigured before them.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (Mark 9:2-13)

At that time: Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves; and he was transfigured before them, and his garments became glistening, intensely white, as no fuller on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses; and they were talking to Jesus. And Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is well that we are here; let us make three booths, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” For he did not know what to say, for they were exceedingly afraid. And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud. “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” And suddenly looking around they no longer saw any one with them but Jesus only. And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of man should have risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant. And they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” And he said to them, “Elijah does come first to restore all things; and how is it written of the Son of man, that he should suffer many things and be treated with contempt? But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

TODAY’S REFLECTION

At times, we can find ourselves feeling very close to God and deeply inspired in one way or another.  When this happens, we may find that the emotional response we have is, in a sense, to go overboard.  Not overboard in our love of God, that’s not possible, but overboard in a zeal that is more based in our emotions than it is in the will of God.  This is the classical example of having a “spiritual high.”  Yes, we must strive to be deeply intimate with our Lord, but we must always make sure that even good emotions do not lead us down the road of our own will rather than the will of God. Reflect, today, upon any tendency we may have in this regard.  The goal of a virtuous life is true balance between the extremes.  Though we must be 100% committed to God and His will, we must make sure that we are not drawn to one side of the road or the other.  Pray that our Lord will keep us firmly on the path that leads to Him and His holy will.

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