Sixth Sunday in
February 14, 2021
Whether you eat or drink,
or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.
— 1 Corinthians 10:31 —
The readings from Leviticus and from the Gospel of Mark today speak of healing and hope. Leviticus outlines procedures to prevent the spread of leprosy, a skin disease understood to be a great danger to the community. Those with the disease were isolated and ritually impure. Absent some cure from God, they were considered beyond hope. Their lives were like a living death, and likely they saw no future hope in their lives. Jesus’ healing of a leper was thus a profound sign of the promised reign of God, which Jesus had earlier announced. The healing was like raising the leper up from death, and thus a hint of Jesus’ resurrection. Where are there “lepers” today, those isolated or outcast from our communities? Who are those our society considers beyond hope, or deems not worth the trouble to offer hope? How can we imitate Jesus in offering a healing touch to them?
The Gospel today concludes the first chapter of Mark, which traces the rapid expansion of Jesus’ ministry. Excitement about Jesus grows so much that he can’t enter a town without being besieged. His healing of a leper results in a reversal: the leper, who had been isolated from the community, is now free to speak with everyone. Jesus, who before could speak freely, now must isolate himself from the crowds. By serving others, Jesus lost some control over his ministry. This is the first hint of what happens later in Mark. Jesus’ displays of power—over illness, over evil spirits, over nature—eventually lead him to the “powerlessness” of the cross.
The experience of Jesus guides us in our own efforts to be of service. Surrendering control is often very difficult. To be a servant is to engage with others, where frequently we lose some control over our freedoms, time, and energies. Often there is a cross or two to bear. As Jesus let go of control in his life, he also placed his trust in his Father. He invites us to do the same.
FOR THE GLORY OF GOD
In today’s passage from First Corinthians, Paul concludes his extensive reflections on a variety of issues in Christian life, summarizing with “whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.” Beyond the specific problems he addresses, Paul invites his listeners deeper, to consider the primary orientation of life in Christ. We live “for the glory of God” when we organize our lives around God’s values and purposes. We find our identity within God’s story as described in the scriptures. We are called to join God’s work in care for others. Just like Paul, we wrestle with many difficult problems emerging from the messiness of daily living. As Lent approaches, we might claim some time to reflect upon how life’s messiness connects with our identity and calling.
Today’s Readings: Lv 13:1–2, 44–46; Ps 32:1–2, 5, 11; 1 Cor 10:31 — 11:1; Mk 1:40–45
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Prayer of the Faithful
Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
The reign of God is upon us; let us call to mind all who are in need of God’s healing and loving presence.
For our holy Church as we seek to be agents of healing and unity in a world divided by countless barriers, let us pray to the Lord.
For an end to violence among nations and within our own communities, and for the elimination of the weapons of war and violence, let us pray to the Lord.
For the eagerness to proclaim God’s amazing healing in our own lives, let us pray to the Lord.
For doctors, nurses, and all those who work with those who are sick, bringing them hope, health, and comfort, especially during this pandemic, let us pray to the Lord.
For all who serve our communities as first responders to tragedies and disasters, especially during these difficult times, and for their families and loves ones, let us pray to the Lord.
For all those who are sick, for all who suffer from COVID-19, and for all who have died, especially N., N., and N., let us pray to the Lord.
For all the prayers that we hold in the silence of our hearts; for all our intentions spoken and unspoken, let us pray to the Lord.
your Son Jesus broke the bonds of sin and death.
Be with us and help us to break down the barriers
that keep us and our neighbors from lives of health and wholeness.
Graciously grant these and all our prayers
according to your will
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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First Reading — The leper will dwell apart, making an abode outside the camp (Leviticus 13:1-2, 44-46).
Psalm — I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation (Psalm 32).
Second Reading — Do everything for the glory of God; be imitators of Christ (1 Corinthians 10:31 — 11:1).
Gospel — The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean (Mark 1:40-45).
The English translation of the Psalm Responses from Lectionary for Mass © 1969, 1981, 1997, International Commission on English in the Liturgy Corporation. All rights reserved.
Reading for the week
Monday: Gn 4:1-15, 25; Ps 50:1, 8, 16bc-17, 20-21; Mk 8:11-13
Tuesday: Gn 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10; Ps 29:1a, 2, 3ac-4, 3b,
9c-10; Mk 8:14-21
Wednesday: Jl 2:12-18; Ps 51:3-6ab, 12-14, 17;
2 Cor 5:20 — 6:2; Mt 6:1-6, 16-18
Thursday: Dt 30:15-20; Ps 1:1-4, 6; Lk 9:22-25
Friday: Is 58:1-9a; Ps 51:3-6ab, 18-19; Mt 9:14-15
Saturday: Is 58:9b-14; Ps 86:1-6; Lk 5:27-32
Sunday: Gn 9:8-15; Ps 25:4-9; 1 Pt 3:18-22;
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Feast of Faith
The Gloria (2)
The Gloria is a rejoicing prayer, an exclamation of praise. It begins with the song of the angels at the announcement of the birth of Jesus (Luke 2:14), a heavenly burst of praise for God’s loving action in the world. But in the Gloria, the song goes on, leaping, as it were, from height to height, with every kind of praise, blessing, adoration, glory, and thanksgiving.
We begin by thanking and praising God the Father; then we turn our gaze to Christ, the Lamb of God. The paschal mystery of Christ’s suffering, death, and resurrection is found here, at the heart of this prayer, which descends to the depths with Christ, but then rises with him to the heavens, where he is seated at the Father’s right hand. The Gloria ends with a series of acclamations to Christ, emphasizing over and over that he “alone” is the Holy One, the Lord, the Most High, truly God, with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Our prayer of praise ends where it began, in the “glory of God the Father.” The Gloria, with its arc leading us from the glory of God to the suffering of Christ and again to glory, is the pattern of the Mass itself. At the center of all our prayer is the sacrificial love of Christ. — Corinna Laughlin Copyright © J. S. Paluch Co.
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