First reading Genesis 11:1-9

The tower of Babel

Throughout the earth men spoke the same language, with the same vocabulary. Now as they moved eastwards they found a plain in the land of Shinar where they settled. They said to one another, ‘Come, let us make bricks and bake them in the fire.’ (For stone they used bricks, and for mortar they used bitumen). ‘Come,’ they said ‘let us build ourselves a town and a tower with its top reaching heaven. Let us make a name for ourselves, so that we may not be scattered about the whole earth.’
  Now the Lord came down to see the town and the tower that the sons of man had built. ‘So they are all a single people with a single language!’ said the Lord. ‘This is but the start of their undertakings! There will be nothing too hard for them to do. Come, let us go down and confuse their language on the spot so that they can no longer understand one another.’ The Lord scattered them thence over the whole face of the earth, and they stopped building the town. It was named Babel therefore, because there the Lord confused the language of the whole earth. It was from there that the Lord scattered them over the whole face of the earth.
 

Responsorial Psalm 32(33):10-15

Happy the people the Lord has chosen as his own.
 
He frustrates the designs of the nations,
  he defeats the plans of the peoples.
His own designs shall stand for ever,
  the plans of his heart from age to age.
 
They are happy, whose God is the Lord,
  the people he has chosen as his own.
From the heavens the Lord looks forth,
  he sees all the children of men.
 
From the place where he dwells he gazes
  on all the dwellers on the earth;
he who shapes the hearts of them all;
  and considers all their deeds.
 

Gospel Mark 8:34-9:1

Anyone who loses his life for my sake will save it

Jesus called the people and his disciples to him and said:
  ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. What gain, then, is it for a man to win the whole world and ruin his life? And indeed what can a man offer in exchange for his life? For if anyone in this adulterous and sinful generation is ashamed of me and of my words, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.’ And he said to them, ‘I tell you solemnly, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.’
 
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The call to follow Jesus

Do we want to be Jesus’ disciples? In today’s gospel, Jesus tells us clearly what being His disciple means, i.e. the need to renounce ourselves, take up our cross and walk behind Him. When we want to follow Jesus, we will often have to die to ourselves- our pride, selfishness, indifference, anger, etc. and choose to walk in His path of loving service and to do what is good for others.

“…for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel”. Let us keep these words in our hearts and minds. We do what we do for Jesus’ sake, i.e. because of our committed and faithful love for Him; and for the gospel’s sake, i.e., because of our desire to live out the gospel values of justice, truth and peace. Today, let us not give Jesus lip-service but concretely follow Him as His disciples and live life as He wants us to.

 
Reflective question:
Today, am I ready to follow Jesus?
 
Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year A” by Sr Sandra Seow FMVD.