Word of the day

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Tuesday of the Eighth Week in Ordinary Time

Reading of the day

From the book of Siràcide
Sir 35,1-12

To keep the law is a great oblation,
and he who observes the
commandments sacrifices a peace offering.
In works of charity one offers fine flour,
and when he gives alms he presents his sacrifice of praise.
To refrain from evil pleases the LORD,
and to avoid injustice is an atonement.
Appear not before the LORD empty-handed,
for all that you offer is in fulfillment of the precepts.
The just one's offering enriches the altar
and rises as a sweet odor before the Most High.
The just one's sacrifice is most pleasing,
nor will it ever be forgotten.
In a generous spirit pay homage to the LORD,
be not sparing of freewill gifts.
With each contribution show a cheerful countenance,
and pay your tithes in a spirit of joy.
Give to the Most High as he has given to you,
generously, according to your means.

For the LORD is one who always repays,
and he will give back to you sevenfold.
But offer no bribes, these he does not accept!
Trust not in sacrifice of the fruits of extortion.
For he is a God of justice,
who knows no favorites.

Gospel of the day

From the Gospel according to Mark
Mk 10,28-31

Peter began to say to Jesus,
'We have given up everything and followed you."
Jesus said, "Amen, I say to you,
there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters
or mother or father or children or lands
for my sake and for the sake of the Gospel
who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age:
houses and brothers and sisters
and mothers and children and lands,
with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come.
But many that are first will be last, and the last will be first."

Words of the Holy Father

Essentially he was saying: “yes, you have left everything and you will receive many things here on earth, but with persecutions. This is the Christian’s recompense and this is the path of whoever wishes to follow Jesus. For it is the path that he trod: he was persecuted”. It is the path of self-emptying, the same path that St Paul indicated to the Philippians when he said that Jesus, in becoming man, emptied himself unto death on the Cross. “This is the tone of the Christian life”, and yet it is a path of joy. This is “the path that Jesus trod, but it is a joyous path because the Lord never allows us to be tried beyond what we are able to bear”. “The Christian life is not a commercial venture”.  It is simply the “following of Jesus, and this is what happens when we follow Jesus. Let us consider whether we have within ourselves the desire to be courageous in bearing witness to Jesus”. And let us also think … about our many brothers and sisters today who cannot pray together because they are persecuted for it, who cannot have the book of the Gospels or a Bible because they are persecuted for it. (Homily Santa Marta, 4 March 2014)