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?».
Lord, you are the source of life and without you our life is in ruins. Yet we men pay no attention to you, particularly to what you tell us and we fail to understand, even little things. We do see what you do and sadly, we don't perceive the message of compassion and love that you propagate in our society. You tell us today, "Beware! Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod".
Help us, Lord, so that this 'leaven which corrupts mind, body and soul be identified and avoided. Let all unnecessary fears and anxiety' do not enter into our thoughts, as long as you are with us. By your grace, we resist the temptation to know and taste everything that existe in this world. Give us wisdom and the gift of discernment, so that we may seek, by all and in all, your will and whatever is able to please You. Amen.
Action of the day: Be watchful and vigilant.
«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).