Readings and Reflection for Sunday September 12, Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time


“I gave my back to those who struck me.”
A reading from the Book of Isaiah (Isaiah 50:5-9a)

The lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I turned not backward, I gave my back to those who struck me and turned not my cheek to those who pulled out the beard; I hid not my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been confounded; therefore I have set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame; he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who is my adversary? Let him come near to me. Behold, the Lord GOD helps me; who will declare me guilty

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 116:1-2.3-4.5-6.8—9 (R. 9)
R. I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.
Or: Alleluia.

I love the Lord, for he has heard
my voice, my appeal;
for he has turned his ear to me
whenever I call. R.

They surrounded me, the snares of death;
the anguish of the grave has found me;
anguish and sorrow I found.
I called on the name of the Lord:
“Deliver my soul, O Lord!” R.

R. I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.
Or: Alleluia.

How gracious is the Lord,
and just; our God has compassion.
The Lord protects the simple;
I was brought low, and he saved me. R.

He has kept my soul from death,
my eyes from tears, and my feet from stumbling.
I will walk in the presence of the LORD
in the land of the living. R.

“Faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.”
A reading from the Letter of Saint James (James 2: 14-18)

What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith Save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. But some one will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith.

The word of the Lord.

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.

“you are the Christ… the Son of man must suffer many things.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (Mark 8:27-35)

At that time: Jesus went on with his disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “who do men say that I am?” and they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others one of the prophets.” And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “you are the Christ.” And he charged them to tell no one about him. And he began to teach them that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. And he said, “get behind me, Satan! For you are not on the side of God, but of men and he called to him the multitude with his disciples and said to them, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the Gospel’s will save it.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection
When our words match our actions, we become credible witnesses to Christ. Our words need to be translated into positive action. When we help build a house for a homeless family, visit those in prison, the elderly at a nursing home, mentor troubled youth or speak up against violence, we witness to Christ. Our faith is meaningless without compassionate service to the poor and needy. It is power-less if it is not backed up with action. Our faith is dead without the heart of God. As people of faith, we cannot simply talk about the creed, the commandments, the teachings, and the beatitudes of Jesus. “Faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.”


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