5 The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I turned not backward.6 I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I hid not my face from shame and spitting. 7 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;
8 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.
9 Behold, the Lord GOD helps me; who will declare me guilty? Behold, all of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up.
14 What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food,
16 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?
17 So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.18 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.
27 And 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?” 28 And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others one of the prophets.”
29 And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.”
30 And he charged them to tell no one about him.
31 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. 32 And he said this plainly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.
33 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.”
34 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.35 For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.
ISAIAH PROPHECY the story of the faithful obedient Messiah whose mission to please the Father shall not be derailed by ridicule attacks on his person, because the Father will come to his aid and acquit him. Isaiah describe the Messiah as a fearless soul whose indomitable spirit will secure his victory over his enemies.
St JAMES makes an interesting declaration that faith without charitable work, is a dead faith! v17 Properly understood, we cannot bribe God with good works. Sir 35:12 Paul similarly affirm that God does not owe us anything.Rm 18:8
With that said, James is not suggesting that believers have a legal contractual obligation to perform works of mercy. Natural works of charity is the fruit of our faith working through love, moving us to righteousness and being in service of the needy.
GOSPEL OF MARK: Our Lord inquisitively posed a discovery question to the twelve on the matter of hearsay from the populous about His identity and calling. Whilst the answers were on some level correct, Jesus decided to interrogate the twelve to elicit their thoughts! Peters revelation led Jesus to spill the beans about His mission, which obtrusively confirmed that He was indeed the Christ who was to suffer and die. Peters vitriolic response to the revelation that Christ was to suffer and die, appeared to have been motivated by love, but alas Satan imposed himself and attempted to create division between Jesus, Peter and the rest of the Apostles.
Todays scripture invite all of us who are trapped and snared to return and be obedient to the word of God. Moreover, we need to take a look in the mirror and ponder the question of whether our faith is dead or alive? Can Christ be recognized in us by others? Do we live a life apart from Christ to please others? Our faith and love of Christ must have its offspring in the sacramental life of the Church through prayer; worship, works of mercy, charity and selfless giving to others with no ‘legal’ expectation of being rewarded or lauded, failing which our faith is mute or dead!
LET US PRAY: Psalms 116:1-6,8-9
1 I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my supplications.
2 Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live. 3 The snares of death encompassed me; the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me; I suffered distress and anguish. 4 Then I called on the name of the LORD: “O LORD, I beseech thee, save my life!”
5 Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; our God is merciful. 6 The LORD preserves the simple; when I was brought low, he saved me.
8 For thou hast delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling;
9 I walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
Author. Henry R SYLVESTER Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast
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