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Liturgical day: Tuesday 6th inOrdinary Time

1st Reading (Gen 6:5-8; 7:1-5.10): When the Lord saw how great was man’s wickedness on earth, and how no desire that his heart conceived was ever anything but evil, he regretted that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was grieved. So the Lord said: «I will wipe out from the earth the men whom I have created, and not only the men, but also the beasts and the creeping things and the birds of the air, for I am sorry that I made them».

But Noah found favor with the Lord. Then the Lord said to Noah: «Go into the ark, you and all your household, for you alone in this age have I found to be truly just. Of every clean animal, take with you seven pairs, a male and its mate; and of the unclean animals, one pair, a male and its mate; likewise, of every clean bird of the air, seven pairs, a male and a female, and of all the unclean birds, one pair, a male and a female. Thus you will keep their issue alive over all the earth. Seven days from now I will bring rain down on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and so I will wipe out from the surface of the earth every moving creature that I have made». Noah did just as the Lord had commanded him. As soon as the seven days were over, the waters of the flood came upon the earth.
Responsorial Psalm: 28
R/. The Lord will bless his people with peace.
Give to the Lord, you sons of God, give to the Lord glory and praise. Give to the Lord the glory due his name; adore the Lord in holy attire.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters, the Lord, over vast waters. The voice of the Lord is mighty; the voice of the Lord is majestic.

The God of glory thunders, and in his temple all say, «Glory!». The Lord is enthroned above the flood; the Lord is enthroned as king forever.
Verscicle 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).