The followers of Jesus must also share in his Passion. The very way of life of the Christian will be seen as a reproach to others and therefore to be opposed. The Christian will also be accused for not conforming to the world’s values and standards. In all this we must look to Jesus, the model of the suffering servant.
FIRST READING Wisdom 2:12.17-20
Let us condemn him to a shameful death.
The godless say to themselves,
‘Let us lie in wait for the virtuous man, since he annoys us and opposes our way of life,
reproaches us for our breaches of the law
and accuses us of playing false to our upbringing.
Let us see if what he says is true,
let us observe what kind of end he himself will have.
If the virtuous man is God’s son,
God will take his part and rescue him from the clutches of his enemies:
Let us test him with cruelty and with torture,
and thus explore this gentleness of his
and put his endurance to the proof.
Let us condemn him to a shameful death
since he will be looked after – we have his word for it.’
RESPONSORIAL PSALM: Ps 53:3-6. 8
Response The Lord upholds my life.
1. O God, save me by your name;
by your power, uphold my cause.
O God, hear my prayer;
listen to the words of my mouth. Response
2. For proud men have risen against me,
ruthless men seek my life.
They have no regard for God. Response
3. But I have God for my help.
The Lord upholds my life.
I will sacrifice to you with willing heart
and praise your name for it is good. Response
SECOND READING James 3:16 – 4:3
Peacemakers, when they work for peace, sow the seeds which will bear fruit in holiness.
Wherever you find jealousy and ambition, you find disharmony, and wicked things of every kind being done; whereas the wisdom that comes down from above is essentially something pure; it also makes for peace, and is kindly and considerate; it is full of compassion and shows itself by doing good; nor is there any trace of partiality or hypocrisy in it. Peacemakers, when they work for peace, sow the seeds which will bear fruit in holiness.
Where do these wars and battles between yourselves first start? Isn’t it precisely in the desires fighting inside your own selves? You want something and you haven’t got it; so you are prepared to kill. You have an ambition that you cannot satisfy; so you fight to get your way by force. Why you don’t have what you want is because you don’t pray for it; when you do pray and don’t get it, it is because you have not prayed properly, you have prayed for something to indulge your own desires.
Gospel Acclamation Jn 8:12
I am the light of the world,
says the Lord,
anyone who follows me
will have the light of life.
or 2 Thes 2: 14
Through the Good News that we brought he called you to this
so that you should share the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
GOSPEL Mark 9: 30-37
‘The Son of Man will be delivered. If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all.
After leaving the mountain Jesus and his disciples made their way through Galilee; and he did not want anyone to know, because he was instructing his disciples; he was telling them, ‘The Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of men; they will put him to death; and three days after he has been put to death he will rise again.’ But they did not understand what he said and were afraid to ask him.
They came to Capernaum, and when he was in the house he asked them, ‘What were you arguing about on the road?’ They said nothing because they had been arguing which of them was the greatest. So he sat down, called the Twelve to him and said, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all.’ He then took a little child, set him in front of them, put his arms round him, and said to them, ‘Anyone who welcomes one of these little children in my name, welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’
Taken from THE JERUSALEM BIBLE, published and copyright 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd and Doubleday, a division of Random House Inc, and used by permission of the publishers.