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Friday of the 8th Week in Ordinary Time

Daily Mass Readings for Friday of the 8th Week in Ordinary Time

Cycle 1 is used in odd numbered years and Cycle 2 is used in even numbered years. The gospel is the same for both years.

  • First Reading (Cycle 1) – Sirach 44:1, 9-13: We honor the Israelite ancestors for their righteousness, inspired by their virtuous lives as examples of wisdom, strength, and piety, encouraging us to follow the path of righteousness and seek God’s favor.
  • First Reading (Cycle 2) – 1 Peter 4:7-13: Let us be self-controlled, devoted to prayer, and hospitable to one another, enduring through suffering and finding joy in sharing in Christ’s sufferings, so that we may rejoice and bring glory to God.
  • Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 1) – Psalm 149: Sing a new song of praise to the LORD with joy and exultation, for he delights in his people and brings victory to the lowly, filling the faithful with glory and causing their throats to resound with high praises.
  • Responsorial Psalm (Cycle 2) – Psalm 96: Declare to the nations: The LORD is the reigning king, establishing the world and governing with justice, as the heavens, earth. All creation rejoice, for the LORD comes to judge and rule with constancy.
  • Gospel Mark 11:11-26: Jesus enters Jerusalem, observes the temple, and returns to Bethany. The next day, he curses a barren fig tree, cleanses the temple, and teaches about the power of faith and forgiveness, emphasizing the importance of prayer and the need to forgive others in order to receive God’s forgiveness.

Themes for the Daily Mass Readings for Friday of the 8th Week in Ordinary Time

  • Jesus’ Authority and Identity: The passage begins with Jesus entering Jerusalem and visiting the temple. This highlights his authority as the Messiah and the Son of God.
  • Cleansing the Temple: Jesus finds the temple being used for commercial activities instead of being a house of prayer. He drives out the money changers and those who were buying and selling, emphasizing the importance of true worship and reverence for God.
  • Faith and Prayer: Jesus teaches his disciples about the power of faith and prayer. He speaks of having faith in God and believing that what is prayed for will be received.
  • Forgiveness and Mercy: Jesus emphasizes the significance of forgiveness and the need to reconcile with others. He instructs his disciples to forgive those who have wronged them and to approach God with a forgiving heart.
  • Fruitfulness and Integrity: Jesus curses a barren fig tree as a symbol of unfruitfulness. This serves as a lesson about the importance of living a life of integrity and bearing spiritual fruit.
  • Faith and Miracles: Jesus speaks about the power of faith, highlighting the possibility of moving mountains through faith in God. This points to the extraordinary things that can happen when one believes and trusts in God.

Thoughts for Friday of the 8th Week in Ordinary Time

In the gospel for Friday of the 8th Week in Ordinary Time, we encounter a passage that encompasses two distinct yet interconnected events: Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem and His cleansing of the temple. As we reflect on Mark 11:11-26, we are invited to contemplate the themes of faith, prayer, and the transformation of hearts.

The passage begins with Jesus entering Jerusalem, greeted by crowds waving palm branches and proclaiming Him as the coming Messiah. However, as Jesus enters the temple, He is confronted with a scene of corruption and exploitation. Moneychangers and merchants have turned the holy place into a marketplace, desecrating its sacredness. Filled with righteous anger, Jesus overturns the tables and drives out those who have made His Father’s house a den of thieves.

This action is not merely an act of cleansing the physical temple; it is a profound symbol of Jesus’ mission to cleanse our hearts and restore our relationship with God. Just as the temple was meant to be a place of worship and encounter with the divine, our hearts are meant to be a dwelling place for God’s love and grace. Yet, often, they can become cluttered with the distractions of worldly desires and attachments.

Jesus’ radical act of purification challenges us to examine our own lives and discern the areas in which we have allowed sin and self-centeredness to take root. It calls us to confront the idols we have erected within our hearts, whether they be material possessions, unhealthy attachments, or selfish ambitions. Like the moneychangers, we are invited to let go of the things that hinder our relationship with God and replace them with a genuine desire for His presence.

Moreover, Jesus emphasizes the importance of faith and prayer in this passage. He curses a withered fig tree, illustrating the consequences of a lack of spiritual fruitfulness. In response, He exhorts His disciples to have faith in God and believe that their prayers will be answered. This call to faith reminds us that our actions must be rooted in a deep trust in God’s providence and a conviction that He hears our prayers.

As we reflect on these words, we are reminded that our faith and prayer should not be mere rituals or empty gestures. They should flow from a sincere and humble heart, genuinely seeking communion with our Creator. Through faith and prayer, we are invited to align our will with God’s, allowing His power to work within us and bear the fruit of righteousness.

In conclusion, the Gospel passage of Mark 11:11-26 calls us to examine the state of our hearts, to purge them of anything that hinders our relationship with God, and to cultivate a deep faith and a life of prayer. Just as Jesus cleansed the temple, He desires to cleanse and transform our hearts, making them holy dwelling places for His love and grace. May we respond to this invitation by surrendering ourselves to Him, trusting in His power to renew and restore us, and embracing a life of faith, prayer, and spiritual fruitfulness.

Prayer for Friday of the 8th Week in Ordinary Time

Heavenly Father, grant us the grace to approach You with a sincere heart, free from distractions, and filled with unwavering faith that moves mountains. Help us cultivate a spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation, that our prayers may be heard and our lives transformed by Your love. Amen.

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Homilies and Reflections for Friday of the 8th Week in Ordinary Time

Word on Fire: The State of Our Souls

In his reflection for Friday of the 8th week in Ordinary Time, Bishop Robert Barron emphasizes the significance of Jesus cleansing the temple. He highlights that just as the temple represented the human person, our souls are meant to be a dwelling place for God’s Spirit, but sin can transform it into a den of thieves. Bishop Barron poses the question of what Jesus would clear out of us if he were to perform a similar cleansing, urging us to examine the state of our souls.

USCCB Reflection: Reverence and God’s Presence

This video reflection by the USCCB explores the significance of Jesus’ actions in the temple, highlighting the sacredness of the temple as the dwelling place of God. Jesus’ driving out of the money changers conveys the importance of reverence and respect for God’s presence, while also revealing his own identity as the new Temple. The reflection encourages viewers to reflect on showing reverence to the Lord, both in church and in their interactions with others.

Frequently Asked Questions for Friday of the 8th Week in Ordinary Time

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