Readings and Reflection for February 21, Tuesday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time


“Prepare yourself for temptation.”
A reading from the Book of Sirach 2: l – 11

My son, if you come forward to serve the Lord, remain in justice and in fear, and prepare yourself for temptation. Set your heart right and be steadfast, incline your ear, and receive words of understanding, and do not be hasty in time of calamity. Await God’s patience, cling to him and do not depart, that you may be wise in all your ways. Accept whatever is brought upon you, and endure it in sorrow; in changes that humble you be patient. For gold and silver are tested in the fire, and acceptable men in the furnace of humiliation. Trust in God, and he will help you; hope in him, and he will make your ways straight. Stay in fear of him, and grow old in him. You who fear the Lord, wait for his mercy; and turn not aside, lest you fall. You who fear the Lord, trust in him, and. your reward will not fail; you who fear the Lord, hope for good things, for everlasting joy and mercy. You who fear the Lord, love him, and your hearts will be made radiant. Consider the ancient generations and see: who ever trusted in the Lord and was put to shame? Or whoever persevered in his commandments and was forsaken? Or whoever called upon him and was overlooked? For the Lord is compassionate and merciful; he forgives sins and saves in time of affliction, and he is the shield of all who seek him in truth.

The word of the Lord

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 37:3-4.18-19.27-28.39-40 (R. see 5)
R/. Commit your way to the Lord, and he will act.

Trust in the Lord and do good;
then you will dwell in the land and safely pasture.
Find your delight in the Lord,
who grants your heart’s desire. R/.

The Lord takes note of the days of the blameless;
their heritage will last forever.
They shall not be put to shame in evil days;
in time of famine they shall have their fill. R/.

R/. Commit your way to the Lord, and he will act.

Then turn away from evil and do good,
and you may abide forever;
for indeed, the Lord loves justice,
and will never forsake his faithful.
The unjust shall be wiped out forever,
and the descendants of the wicked destroyed. R/.

But from the Lord comes the salvation of the just,
their stronghold in time of distress.
The Lord helps them and rescues them,
rescues and saves them from the wicked:
because they take refuge in him. R/.

ALLELUIA Galatians 6:14
Alleluia. Far be it from me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Alleluia.

The Son of man will be betrayed. If anyone would be first, he must be last.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark 9:30-37

At that time: Jesus and his disciples went on from the mountain and passed through Galilee. And he would not have any one know it; 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.” But they did not understand the saying, and they were afraid to ask him. And they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” But they were silent; for on the way they had discussed with one another who was the greatest. And he sat down and called the Twelve; and he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” And he took a child, and put him in the midst of them; and taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”

The Gospel of the Lord

Trials and tribulations are surely part of the experience of man on earth, and even more so for followers of Christ. The Book of Sirach tells us that when we come to serve the Lord, we must ‘prepare ourselves for trials’. Serving God comes with its own difficulties and problems. Indeed, the Lord does not promise us that we will be free from difficulties and problems by serving him; rather, he says, ‘if anyone wants to be a follower of mine, he must renounce himself, take up his cross and follow me. ‘Definitely so many want to run away from difficulties, so many want to be free from trials, but if we truly want to serve God, we must be ready to stand in justice and fear. What is necessary however, as we serve the Lord, is to have total trust and confidence in God. Yes, we need to trust God like a little child would trust its parents, and surely God will help us. Childlike trust will definitely help us to have the fear of God and seek his direction. No matter how many the trials or tribulations, trust in God and you will be happy.


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