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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Tuesday 6th inOrdinary Time

1st Reading (Jas 1:12-18): Blessed is he who perseveres in temptation, for when he has been proven he will receive the crown of life that he promised to those who love him. No one experiencing temptation should say, «I am being tempted by God»; for God is not subject to temptation to evil, and he himself tempts no one. Rather, each person is tempted when lured and enticed by his desire. Then desire conceives and brings forth sin, and when sin reaches maturity it gives birth to death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers and sisters: all good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change. He willed to give us birth by the word of truth that we may be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
Responsorial Psalm: 93
R/. Blessed the man you instruct, o Lord.
Blessed the man whom you instruct, o Lord, whom by your law you teach, giving him rest from evil days.

For the Lord will not cast off his people, nor abandon his inheritance; but judgment shall again be with justice, and all the upright of heart shall follow it.

When I say, «My foot is slipping», your mercy, o Lord, sustains me; when cares abound within me, your comfort gladdens my soul.
Versicle before the Gospel (Jn 14:23): Alleluia. Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord; and my Father will love him and we will come to him. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Mk 8,14-21): The disciples had forgotten to bring more bread and had only one loaf with them in the boat. Then Jesus warned them, «Keep your eyes open and beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod». And they said to one another, «He saw that we have no bread». Aware of this, Jesus asked them, «Why are you talking about the loaves you are short of? Do you not see or under­stand? Are your minds closed? Have you eyes that don't see and ears that don't hear? And do you not remem­ber when I broke the five loaves among five thousand? How many baskets full of leftovers did you collect?». They answered, «Twelve». «And having seven loaves for the four thousand, how many wicker baskets of leftovers did you collect?». They answered, «Seven». Then Jesus said to them, «Do you still not understand?».

«Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees»

Fr. Juan Carlos CLAVIJO Cifuentes (Bogotá, Colombia)

Today, —once again— we can see the wisdom of our Lord Jesus. His behavior is amazing, as it is so different from the rest of the people…, it is original. He has just made some miracles and now He is going somewhere else where the Grace of God must also reach. In such a context of miracles, before a new group of people who is waiting, He warns them: «Keep your eyes open and beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod» (Mk 8:15), for they —the Pharisees and Herod’s— do not want the Grace of God to be known, and they rather spend all their time by spreading all over the World bad yeast while sowing discord.

Our faith does not depend on our deeds, for «a faith which we ourselves decide about is not a faith in absolute » (Benedict XVI). On the contrary, they are our deeds that depend upon our faith. To have a true and authentic faith implies an active and dynamic faith; not a conditioned faith that stays only on the surface, in the external appearance, that gets off the track… Ours must be a genuine faith. We must look at things with the eyes of God, not with the sinner man’s eyes: «Do you not see or understand? Are your minds closed?» (Mk 8:17).

The Kingdom of God expands in our World just as the yeast grows in the dough, without our knowing why. The authentic faith must be like that, a faith that grows in our love for God. Let nothing and nobody, therefore, befuddle us of the encounter with our Lord and His Redeemable message. Our Lord never misses an opportunity to teach and, today, He keeps on doing it: «We must free ourselves from the false idea that faith has nothing to say to today’s Men» (Benedict XVI).

«Have you eyes that don't see and ears that don't hear?»

+ Fr. Lluís ROQUÉ i Roqué (Manresa, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, we see that Jesus —as often happened with the Apostles— was not always understood.

At times it is difficult. We may see wonders, be explained things crystal clear or receive a good doctrine. No matter, we deserve His scolding: «Do you not see or under­stand? Are your minds closed?» (Mk 8:17).

We would like to tell Him we understand Him and that our mind is not closed, but we do not dare to. Like the blind of the parable, we may ask Him, to listen to our pleading: «Lord, that I may see again» (Lk 18,41), to have faith and see; and, as the psalmist says: «Give me an eagerness for your decrees; do not inflict me with love for money!» (Ps 119:36) to have a good disposition, to listen, receive the Word of God and make it fruitful.

Today and always, it would be also good, to pay attention to Jesus' warning: «Keep your eyes open and beware of the yeast of the Pharisees» (Mk 8:15); the truth is so far away... We seem “fanatical believers”, who do not understand «God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth» (Jn 4:23). We must also beware «of the yeast of Herod» which is proud, despotic, sensual, and only wants to see and feel Jesus to take pleasure in.

But, how to keep away from this “yeast”?. Well, just by doing a continuos, intelligent and pious evaluation of the Word of God which will let us grow individually «pious as infants: but not ignorants, because each one of us must try, to the best of his abilities, to seriously and scientifically study the faith (...). That is, to have the piety of children coupled with the doctrinal knowledge of a theologian» (Saint Josemaria).

Thus, enlighted and strengthened by the Holy Spirit, alerted and led by the good Shepherds, stimulated by all the faithful Christians, we shall believe what we ought to believe and we shall do what we ought to do. First, though, we must have the “desire” to see: «The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us» (Jn 1:14), visible, palpable; and the “desire” to listen: it was the Virgin Mary who was “the bait” that made Jesus say: «blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it» (Lk 11:28).

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