February 12, Monday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial of St. Febronia
Daily Readings: James 1:1-11, Mark 8:11-13
Today's first reading is from the Letter of St. James, brother of Jesus. He is also known as James the Just. He writes to the Jewish Christians dispersed outside Israel. Advocating patient perseverance during trials and tribulations, James encourages them to live consistently with what they have learned in Jesus Christ. In his writings, James weaves individual pearls of wisdom together with a thread named Jesus Christ.
When Christians face persecution, they should respond with a smile. They are to endure with faith to become mature and complete. One may lack wisdom. One must ask God for it. One must request good faith. There is no room for doubt or double-mindedness. James further advises the lowly to boast about their exaltation. The rich will disappear like a flower in the field. That is why the response to the responsorial Psalm becomes important. The Psalmist prays, “Be kind to me, Lord, and I shall live.”
The Gospel narratives reveal the Pharisees' evil intent to trap Jesus and argue with him. In today’s text, they ask him for a sign to test him. This kind of behavior deeply hurts Jesus, and he is determined not to give any sign to this generation. Jesus has no interest in becoming entangled with them. He leaves them and goes across to the other side of the sea.
In Jesus, the Pharisees failed to see someone who was the way, the truth, and the life. It is through him that we can all go to the Father. These Pharisees have excluded themselves from God’s presence. Neither they entered nor did they allow others to enter. Jesus is patient with them for a purpose. His time has not come!
Holy Mother Church honors the memory of St. Febronia, who suffered martyrdom during the persecution of Diocletian. Upon refusing to renounce her faith in Christ, she was tortured, suffered mutilation, and died. Witnessing her suffering, Lysimachus reposed his faith in Christ. If she had renounced her faith in Christ, she would have gotten married to him.
Call to Action for Catholic Living: The insecurity of the Pharisees makes them plot against Jesus. Insecurity is one of the root causes of suffering in the world. Jesus’ strength is his belief in the Father. What is the source of my strength?
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.