FIRST READING
“The testing of your faith produces steadfastness that you may be perfect and complete.”
The beginning of the Letter of Saint James (James 1:1-11)

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greeting! Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways, will receive anything from the Lord. Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like the flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM psalm119:67.68.71.72.75.76 (R/. 77a)
R/. Show me compassion, Lord, that I may live.

Before I was humbled, I strayed,
but now I keep your word. R/.

You are good, and you do what is good;
teach me your statutes. R/.

It was good for me to be humbled,
that I might learn your statutes. R/.

R/. Show me compassion, Lord, that I may live.

The law from your mouth means more to me
than large quantities of silver and gold. R/.

O Lord, I know that your decrees are right;
though I am humbled, you are just. R/.

Let your merciful love console me
by your promise to your servant. R/.

ALLELUIA John14:6
Alleluia. I am the way, and the truth, and the life, says the Lord; no one comes to the Father but by me. Alleluia.

Gospel
“Why does this generation seek a sign?”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (Mark 8:11-13)

At that time: The Pharisees came and began to argue with Jesus, seeking from him a sign from heaven, to test him. And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation.” And he left them, and getting into the boat again he departed to the other side.

The Gospel of the Lord.

TODAY’S REFLECTION
The Pharisees demanded a sign from Jesus. Their demand for a sign was to entrap Jesus and accuse him when the time seemed opportune. Jesus knew this and refused them any sign, partly because they lacked faith in him, and partly because their demand was a ploy to indict him. Is it not strange that people have varied motives for worshipping God? Some worship God for material and temporal benefit; some see the Church as a societal privilege, while some others see it as a pressure group. Very few seek God for who he is, out of love for God and neighbour. Jesus refused to give signs because he noticed that a lot of people followed him merely because of the miracles they saw him work; they expected wonder and entertainment. Today’s followers of Jesus do not differ from those people. Crusade grounds are always filled up, for various reasons, ranging from business deals and search for entertainment, fun and solutions to various problems.

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