“Has not God chosen those who are poor in the world? But you have dishonoured the poor man.”
A reading from the Letter of Saint James (James 2:1-9)
My brethren, show no partiality as you hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man with gold rings and in fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and you pay. attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “Have a seat here, please,” while you say to the poor man, “Stand there,” or, “Sit at my feet,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brethren. Has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he had promised to those who love him? But you have dishonoured the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you, is it not they who drag you into court? Is it not they who blaspheme that honourable name by which you are called? If you really fulfil the royal law, according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself,” you do well. But if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 34:2-3.4-5.6-7 (R. see 7a)
R/. The lowly one called, and the Lord heard him.
I will bless the Lord at all times,
praise of him is always in my mouth.
In the Lord my soul shall make its boast;
the humble shall hear and be glad. R/.
Glorify the Lord with me;
together let us praise his name.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
from all my terrors he set me free. R.
Look towards him and be radiant;
let your faces not be abashed.
This lowly one called; the Lord heard,
and rescued him from all his distress. R.
ALLELUIA John 6:63c.68c
Alleluia. Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life; you have the words of eternal life. Alleluia.
“You are the Christ. The Son of man must suffer many things. ”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (Mark 8:27-33)
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 this plainly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter, and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not on the side of God, but of men.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Every Christian must come to a personal knowledge of Christ. At some stage, one’s knowledge of Jesus is basically what others say of him: the exhortations, sermons, testimonies, commentaries and text books. At some point however, Jesus would demand: and you, who do you say I am? Who is Jesus to you? A personal encounter with Jesus Christ happens when we are entirely open to the will of God in the events of our life; the joys and the struggles, the victories and the failures. Jesus’ rebuke of peter reminds us that the path to Christian fulfilment does not exclude the cross. Every attempt to forbid the cross is a distraction. Reject it!