February 18, 2014

The Gospel Today

Tuesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

Mark 8:14-21

The disciples had forgotten to bring bread,
and they had only one loaf with them in the boat.
Jesus enjoined them, “Watch out,
guard against the leaven of the Pharisees
and the leaven of Herod.”
They concluded among themselves that
it was because they had no bread.
When he became aware of this he said to them,
“Why do you conclude that it is because you have no bread?
Do you not yet understand or comprehend?
Are your hearts hardened?
Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear?
And do you not remember,
when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand,
how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up?”
They answered him, “Twelve.”
“When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand,
how many full baskets of fragments did you pick up?”
They answered him, “Seven.”
He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”

Reflection (Sem. Enrico Terrel):

     My teacher in Scriptures once shared to our class a quote from a movie about St. Bernadette Soubirous, “For those who believe, no miracle is needed while for those who do not, no miracle is enough.” In the Gospel narrative, Christ warns his disciples to watch and to guard themselves against the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod. But, what is the context behind it? It is the multiplication of the loaves and the fish by Christ that led to the feeding of the multitude. Jesus had just fed thousands of people out of five loaves and two fish. However, it seems that his disciples did not learn the ultimate lesson that Christ would like to impart to them. How is this so? Because they immediately think that their Master was warning them so because they only have one bread with them in the boat. They fail to realize that when they start worrying about the little things such as food, then the more they manifest that they still have to grow in terms of believing in Jesus. They have been with Him for so many times. Definitely, they have seen a lot of signs and wonders done by Him. Unfortunately, they still lack the faith. Thus they are not that different as compared to the Pharisees who have also witnessed the saving works of Christ such as the healing of the man with a withered hand but still have the stubbornness of hearts that prevent them from believing. For us Christians, God continues to perform saving and loving acts that would help us grow in trusting Him. He continues to give us life, the opportunities to become better persons of faith, hope and love and many other things. Nonetheless, the question is do we notice how much we are loved and sustained by God who continues to make wonders for us? If we are able to notice, then can we truly say that we understand and believe in Him especially during moments when we are confronted by poverty or seemingly insurmountable trials? Christ challenges and invites us to stop worrying about so many things and to start believing in Him.

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