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February 18, 2019: Monday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time [I]

Reading Genesis 4:1-15,25
Gospel Mark 8:11-13

He sighed from the depth of His spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign?”

Do we search for heavenly signs as assurance that we are on the right path in life? Today’s Gospel passage, brief and to the point, ought to make us realize how pointless such a search is. Jesus’ sigh—”from the depth of His Spirit”—speaks volumes. His departure from the midst of the Pharisees show his recognition that even His divine words do nothing for one unwilling to listen in to Him in faith. Christ asks us to dedicate each day to him in faith.

A life which is not dedicated to God ends up being a selfish life, a life that excludes both God and one’s brothers and sisters. This sort of life is opposed to both arms of Jesus’ Cross, which form His single command to His disciple to follow Him. The horizontal arm is the call to love our neighbors as oneself. The vertical arm is the call to love the Lord with all our heart, soul and mind. Living out the latter opens our hearts to further grace from the God who is love.

The selfishness of sin shows our need to cooperate with God’s grace to conquer the power of sin. Sin is conquered first through faith, further through hope, and perfectly through charity. We are invited to share in this perfect love of God through the Holy Mass. When we are sent forth from Mass, we take and offer this same love to our brothers and sisters within our daily lives.