Sunday, March 9, 2014

Today's Mass Readings - Sunday, March 9, 2014 with Reflection

First Sunday of Lent

1ST READING - Genesis 2:7-9; 3:1-7
The Lord God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being. Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and he placed there the man whom he had formed. 9Out of the ground the Lord God made various trees grow that were delightful to look at and good for food, with the tree of life in the middle of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 3: Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals that the Lord God had made. The serpent asked the woman, “Did God really tell you not to eat from any of the trees in the garden?” The woman answered the serpent: “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; it is only about the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, “ ‘You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.’ ” But the serpent said to the woman: “You certainly will not die! No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is evil.” The woman saw that the tree was good for food, pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.
P S A L M - Psalm 51:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14, 17
R: Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.
1 [3] Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness; in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense. 2 [4] Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me. (R) 3 [5] For I acknowledge my offense, and my sin is before me always: 4 [6] “Against you only have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight.” (R) 10 [12] A clean heart create for me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me. 11 [13] Cast me not out from your presence, and your Holy Spirit take not from me. (R) 12 [14] Give me back the joy of your salvation, and a willing spirit sustain in me. 15 [17] O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall proclaim your praise. (R)
2nd READING - Romans 5:12-19
12 Brothers and sisters: Through one man sin entered the world, and through sin, death, and thus death came to all men, inasmuch as all sinned — 13 for up to the time of the law, sin was in the world, though sin is not accounted when there is no law. 14But death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin after the pattern of the trespass of Adam, who is the type of the one who was to come. 15 But the gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one, the many died, how much more did the grace of God and the gracious gift of the one man Jesus Christ overflow for the many. 16 And the gift is not like the result of the one who sinned. For after one sin there was the judgment that brought condemnation; but the gift, after many transgressions, brought acquittal. 17 For if, by the transgression of the one, death came to reign through that one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of justification come to reign in life through the one Jesus Christ. 18 In conclusion, just as through one transgression condemnation came upon all, so through one righteous act acquittal and life came to all. 19 For just as through the disobedience of one man the many were made sinners, so through the obedience of one, the many will be made righteous.
One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
Matthew 4:1-11
At that time Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry. The tempter approached and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command that these stones become loaves of bread.” He said in reply, “It is written: ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.’ ” Then the devil took him to the holy city, and made him stand on the parapet of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning you’ and ‘with their hands they will support you, lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ” Jesus answered him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord, your God, to the test.’ ” Then the devil took him up to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their magnificence, and he said to him, “All these I shall give to you, if you will prostrate yourself and worship me.” 10 At this, Jesus said to him, “Get away, Satan! It is written: ‘The Lord, your God, shall you worship and him alone shall you serve.’ ” 11 Then the devil left him and, behold, angels came and ministered to him.


A man takes his pet to the veterinarian after a car ran over it. He lays the body on the exam table and the vet examines it, listening for the heart, and solemnly says, “I’m very sorry, Mr. dela Cruz, but I’m afraid your pet is dead.” Mr. dela Cruz, very distraught, exclaims, “How can you be sure? You haven’t done any tests or anything! I want to be sure!”

       So the vet leaves the room and then re-enters with a Labrador Retriever. He leads the dog to the table, and the dog sniffs up and down, then turns away. He then leaves with the dog and returns with a cat, and proceeds to wave the cat back and forth over the dead pet. No response. Again, he leaves the room. By this time the man has faced the fact that his pet is indeed dead.

       The vet returns and says once more how sorry he is, then he presents the owner with a bill for P50,000. Mr. dela Cruz protested, “Fifty thousand pesos just to tell me my pet is dead?” The vet replies, “Well, it would have been only P500 for the office call, but the lab work and cat scan were extra!”

       Whenever we sin, something in us dies. In the book of Genesis, Yahweh warned the first man and woman, “…you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die” (Genesis 2:17). John, in his epistles, warns, “If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death” (1 John 5:16). Mortal is Latin for mortis, or death. Sin kills the life of God in us. Sin compromises our life in the Spirit.

       What revives the life of God in our soul? With the sacrament of reconciliation, the break is healed and our integrity is restored and we are once again made whole. The season of Lent’s call for prayer, fasting and almsgiving attunes us to our inner life where the angelic and the animal in us live in harmony and integration. Be revived, reconciled and reunited with God! Fr. Joel Jason
REFLECTION QUESTION: The season of Lent is a time for visiting churches. Have you scheduled a visit to the confessional box where God’s reconciling mercy is waiting for you?
Lord, thank You for the sacrament of reconciliation. Thank You for always waiting for me there.

St. Frances of Rome, religious, pray for us.

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