The Word Among Us

Mass Reading & Meditation for February 18, 2020

Meditation: James 1:12-18

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6th Week in Ordinary Time

He willed to give us birth by the word of truth. (James 1:18)

Think of the excitement a husband and wife feel when a new baby arrives. Then compare it to the way God must feel about us. After all, St. James tells us that God has given us a spiritual “birth” through the power of his word (James 1:18). And that spiritual birth, which happens in Baptism, brings joy to our Father’s heart.

But despite the joy he feels at our baptism, God knows that we still have to grow in our faith—just as any human parents know that their newborn child has a long road ahead of him. And how do we keep growing? Certainly we need to keep encountering the word of truth through the sacraments. But we also need to encounter Jesus in the Scriptures.

Scripture is where we can come to know Jesus. We meet him through the Gospel stories, and as we continue to ponder these stories, our friendship with him deepens. We can imagine ourselves accompanying Jesus on his journeys, or we can picture him teaching us. The more we do this, the more Jesus becomes real to us, strengthening our faith that he is with us even now.

Scripture also forms our minds and our way of thinking. It helps us to comprehend more and more deeply who God is and all he has done for us through Christ. It also helps us adopt God’s values rather than the world’s.

Finally, Scripture is an avenue for the Holy Spirit to speak to us. We can expect that as we read, something will jump out at us—something the Lord will use to guide us, comfort us, or help us through the day.

So read the Scriptures every day and take time to reflect on what you read. Take, for example, another verse from today’s first reading: “All good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17). How does it make you feel? Perhaps it makes you want to thank God for your blessings. Or perhaps it makes you realize that despite whatever struggles you may be enduring, God is still in charge and he is good.

If Scripture gives you an inspiration, don’t ignore it. You never know, God could be trying to “birth” something new in your life!

“Lord, give me a deeper hunger for your word!”

Psalm 94:12-15, 18-19
Mark 8:14-21

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