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Sixth Week of Ordinary Time

James 2:1-9 & Mk. 8:27-33

Poor Peter! With the best of intentions, he said the wrong thing. When Jesus predicted His own passion and death, Peter tried to tell Him that as long as he was around he was going to make sure that such a thing could never happen. Jesus' reply was swift, "Get behind Me, Satan! Because the way you think is not God's way, but man's." Peter failed to understand that in God's plan the death of Jesus would lead to the glorious life of the resurrection. Jesus had to speak forcefully because He didn't want any of His followers to misunderstand Him. It was only through His death on the cross and His resurrection that He was to secure the salvation of the world.

The first reading from St. James is on the same theme, that God views matters so differently from ours. We tend to judge people by appearances and treat them accordingly. The well dressed person is given preferential treatment in most restaurants and department stores whereas the person who dresses in shabby clothes will generally be avoided or ignored. God is not like that. He is not impressed by wealth. If anything, God gives special attention to those who have next to nothing in this life. "It was those who are poor according to the world that God chose to be rich in faith and to be heirs to the kingdom." God is eager to help those who are generally ignored by that world.

Lord Jesus, all of us have been favoured with the gift of faith. St James insists that this faith must move us to abandon the world's sense of values and to adopt God's ways. Help us to see things in God's ways and not as the world sees them.

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