12 Feb 2024 – Monday of Week 6

12 Feb 2024 – Monday of Week 6

1st Reading: James 1:1-11

The testing of your faith produces endurance

My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.

If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you. But ask in faith, never doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind; for the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord.

Let the believer who is lowly boast in being raised up, and the rich in being brought low, because the rich will disappear like a flower in the field. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the field; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. It is the same way with the rich; in the midst of a busy life, they will wither away.

Responsorial: Psalm 119

R./: Let your love come to me, and I shall live

Before I was afflicted I went astray
but now I keep your word.
You are good and your deeds are good;
teach me your statutes. (R./)

It was good for me to be afflicted,
to learn your statutes.
The law from your mouth
means more to me than silver and gold. (R./)

Lord, I know that your decrees are right,
that you afflicted me justly.
Let your love be ready to console me
by your promise to your servant. (R./)

Gospel: Mark 8:11-13

Jesus refuses to give signs to his critics

The Pharisees began to argue with Jesus, asking him for a sign from heaven, to test him. And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation.” And he left them, and getting into the boat again, he went across to the other side.


Faith and trust

If faith is central to biblical religion, we need to keep our faith authentic. Today’s gospel says that authantic faith is not primarily based on miracles. When some critics want to test Jesus and ask him for some heavenly sign, he sighs and regrets the weakness of their faith.

St James, whose Epistle we began to read today, points out that true faith it put to the text. It is authentic, if it helps us through every sort of trial. Faith that is tested makes for endurance and it keeps a person steadfastly holding on to God. It is not an arrogant self-confidence but a trust based on God’s fidelity. Such a level of faith helps us through dark times, with hope for new life.

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