Gospel text (Mc 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
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).