Daily Bible Reading - May 21, 2024

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Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.


Psalter: Week 3 / (Green/Red)

St. Christopher Magallanes, priest & Companions, martyrs

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 55: 7-8, 9-10a, 10b-11a, 23: Throw your cares on the Lord, and he will support you.

1st Reading: James 4: 1-10

What causes these fights and quarrels among you? Is it not your cravings that make war within your own selves? When you long for something you cannot have, you kill for it, and when you do not get what you desire, you squabble and fight. The fact is, you do not have what you want, because you do not pray for it.

You pray for something, and you do not get it, because you pray with the wrong motive, of indulging your pleasures. You adulterers! Don’t you know that making friends with the world makes you enemies of God? Therefore, whoever chooses to be the world’s friend becomes God’s enemy.

Can you not see the point of the saying in Scripture: “The longing of the spirit, he sent to dwell in us, is a jealous longing?” But God has something better to give, and Scripture also says, God opposes the proud but he gives his favor to the humble. Give in, then, to God; resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

Draw close to God and he will come close to you. Clean your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you doubters. Recognize your distress, be miserable and weep. Turn your laughter into tears and your joy into sadness. Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will raise you up.

Gospel: Mark 9: 30-37

After leaving that place, they made their way through Galilee; but Jesus did not want people to know where he was because he was teaching his disciples. And he told them, “The Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of men.

They will kill him, but three days after he has been killed, he will rise.” The disciples, however, did not understand these words and they were afraid to ask him what he meant. Who is the greatest?

They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house, Jesus asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” But they did not answer, because they had been arguing about who was the greatest.

Then he sat down, called the Twelve and said to them, “If someone wants to be first, let him be last of all and servant of all.” Then he took a little child, placed him in their midst, and putting his arms around him he said to them, “Whoever welcomes a child such as this in my name, welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me, welcomes not me, but the One who sent me.”


“Who is the greatest?”

In worldly standard, the common criteria for greatness include power, fame and influence. Thus, the greatest is the strongest, the famous and the most influential. In other words, the greatest is the one being served or the one who proves to be the first in everything. For Jesus, the greatest is the one who serves and the last of all. The concerns of others are considered first before ours. Hence, we can only have a good sense of service when we are other-oriented.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus was teaching his disciples the sense of service expected of his followers. Jesus told his disciples that he would be handed over, be killed and would rise again on the third day. Jesus is the Christ who would be offering his life. The disciples would not be able to grasp the idea about his messiahship immediately. In the minds of the disciples, the greatness of the Messiah could only be connected with political power and his anointment would indicate fame and influence. Jesus had to teach them the lesson on greatness in terms of service. He taught them this lesson with certain visual aid – the child whom Jesus placed in their midst.


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