Readings: Wednesday, February 16, 2011

First Reading

Genesis 8:6-13, 20-22

Noah saw that the surface of the ground was drying up.

At the end of forty days Noah opened the hatch he had made in the ark,
and he sent out a raven,
to see if the waters had lessened on the earth.
It flew back and forth until the waters dried off from the earth.
Then he sent out a dove,
to see if the waters had lessened on the earth.
But the dove could find no place to alight and perch,
and it returned to him in the ark,
for there was water all over the earth.
Putting out his hand, he caught the dove
and drew it back to him inside the ark.
He waited seven days more and again sent the dove out from the ark.
In the evening the dove came back to him,
and there in its bill was a plucked-off olive leaf!
So Noah knew that the waters had lessened on the earth.
He waited still another seven days
and then released the dove once more;
and this time it did not come back.
In the six hundred and first year of Noah’s life,
in the first month, on the first day of the month,
the water began to dry up on the earth.
Noah then removed the covering of the ark
and saw that the surface of the ground was drying up.
Noah built an altar to the Lord,
and choosing from every clean animal and every clean bird,
he offered burnt offerings on the altar.
When the Lord smelled the sweet odor, he said to himself:
“Never again will I doom the earth because of man
since the desires of man’s heart are evil from the start;
nor will I ever again strike down all living beings, as I have done.
As long as the earth lasts,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
Summer and winter,
and day and night
shall not cease.”

Responsorial Psalm

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 15:2-3a, 3bc-4ab, 5

R./ Who shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord?

He who walks blamelessly and does justice; 
          who thinks the truth in his heart 
          and slanders not with his tongue.  
R./ Who shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord?

Who harms not his fellow man, 
          nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor; 
By whom the reprobate is despised, 
          while he honors those who fear the Lord.  
R./ Who shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord?

Who lends not his money at usury 
          and accepts no bribe against the innocent. 
He who does these things 
          shall never be disturbed.  
R./ Who shall live on your holy mountain, O Lord?

Holy Gospel

Gospel Introduction
      The theme of yesterday is continued in today's reading. We should not ask for extraordinary signs but learn to see God's presence and saving action in the events of life. The apostles have seen the signs Jesus worked among them. We too, should open our eyes and ears to the good things God does among us.

Gospel Reading: Mark  8:14–21

The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, 
          and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. 
Jesus enjoined them, "Watch out, 
          guard against the leaven of the Pharisees 
          and the leaven of Herod."  
They concluded among themselves that 
          it was because they had no bread. 
When he became aware of this he said to them, 
          "Why do you conclude that it is because you have no bread? 
Do you not yet understand or comprehend? 
Are your hearts hardened? 
Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear? 
And do you not remember, 
          when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, 
          how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up?" 
They answered him, "Twelve." 
"When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, 
          how many full baskets of fragments did you pick up?" 
They answered him, "Seven." 
He said to them, "Do you still not understand?"