READINGS for 2007-02-13

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



?Guard against the leaven of the Pharisees...? ? Mark 8:15

  ?Ikaw kasi! You forgot where you placed the parking ticket!?
      ?If only you woke up early.?
      ?Why weren?t you more pro-active??
      Many times I find myself blaming other people for misplacing stuff, procrastination and wrong choices.
       Many times they?re trivial but they have a way of ruining our entire day or evening. I focus on my irritation instead of on the wonderful dinner we had; the anger instead of the exciting trip; my pet peeve instead of the knowledge and learning gained from a unique situation.
      Although I have long since repented of this and asked for forgiveness, this bad habit of mine shows up in varied forms.
      I guess some of the disciples were in the same state when the Lord warned them on the ?leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.? Their minds were still on bread and who forgot it... ?Who was in charge of the food again?? They were doing the blame game.
      Because of this, they missed the Lord?s point... just as I do, many times! Ariel D.

The Lord Himself reminds us, ?Hey, didn?t I multiply the loaves? Other people messed it up for you but didn?t I make up for it with my blessings??

I realize that more than the miracles You work out for me, You are more interested in my growth out of worrying about trivial matters so I can truly listen to Your voice.



Genesis 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10

The story of Noah and the flood indicates to us the widespread nature of sin across the face of the earth. I wonder if we are modern-day Noahs? I wonder if there are any modern-day Noahs? I am certain that there is a lot of sin in the world; the question is, ?Are we offering a counter-cultural example to the life of sin?? Are you and I giving witness to the possibility of a life of righteousness and love in the midst of all the corrupt practices of sin around us? Do we stand out as beacons of  righteousness for others to follow?

5 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, 6 he regretted that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was grieved. 7 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.? 8 But Noah found favor with the LORD. 7: 1 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. 2 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; 3 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. 4 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.? 5 Noah did just as the LORD had commanded him. 10 As soon as the seven days were over, the waters of the flood came upon the earth.

P S A L M 

Psalm 29:1-2, 3ac-4, 3b and 9c-10

R: The Lord will bless his people with peace.

1 Give to the LORD, you sons of God, give to the LORD glory and praise, 2 give to the LORD the glory due his name; adore the LORD in holy attire. (R) 3 The voice of the LORD is over the waters, the LORD, over vast waters. 4 The voice of the LORD is mighty; the voice of the LORD is majestic. (R) The God of glory thunders, 9 and in his temple all say, ?Glory!? 10 The LORD is enthroned above the flood; the LORD is enthroned as king forever. (R)


Mark 8:14-21

When Jesus refers to the ?yeast of the Pharisees and Herod? He is not referring to their businesses of selling the ingredients that make bread. He is referring to the way that certain sins have crept into the lives of these people and become ?a part of the lives.? We must be careful that we do not become so familiar with any particular sin that it begins to act like leaven in our lives. Once the bread is baked it is impossible to separate the leaven from it.

14 They had forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. 15 He enjoined them, ?Watch out, guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.? 16 They concluded among themselves that it was because they had no bread. 17 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? 18 Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear? And do you not remember, 19 when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up?? They answered him, ?Twelve.? 20 ?When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many full baskets of fragments did you   pick up?? They answered [him], ?Seven.? 21 He said to them, ?Do you still not understand??

my reflections
Do we stand out as beacons of righteousness for others to follow?



God?s special verse/thought for me today________________


Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________





What does the story of Noah tell us about human nature? I think we have here a reflection upon the destructive power of sin. It is not really a story about God?s direct punishment of sinful humanity but more about the destruction we bring upon ourselves when we embrace a life of sin. Unchecked sin in the world can only lead to one place ? disaster. It is important here to make the observation that sin?s destructive power is indiscriminate, that is, the consequences of sin generally do not distinguish between those who are guilty of sin and those who are not. This is evident in that a victim of crime is often hurt in one way or another but is generally in no way to blame for the actual crime itself.
      With the story of The Flood we are reading about a reflection upon the sinful state of humanity and how such a thing is utterly repugnant to God. Yet, we will discover that God ultimately decides that He will never send such destruction to the earth again! Why not? Probably because fighting fire with fire so to speak rarely works. The doctrine of the New Testament will point us in another direction when it comes to confronting sin and its effects, namely the path of love and forgiveness.
      Yes, there are times when force may be needed to put an end to evil in the world; however, the use of force will not prevail in the long run if it is not used or administered in love. For example, it took the USA and its allies only a few months to forcibly oust Saddam Hussein from Iraq and the Taliban from rule in Afghanistan; but had the use of force been balanced with love in order to win over the people of these countries to the US way of thinking? There seems to me to have been a big lacuna in the plan of the US along these lines and the continued violence is evidence of this. There are even some who question whether the situation can be salvaged or if we are not going to be left with the US et al being forced to leave admitting that they are not able to set in place an alternative form of government due to the hostility of the people. Fr. Steve T.

REFLECTION QUESTION: Do I tend to solve problems of evil by force or by love?

Jesus, teach me how to forgive those who hurt me and so challenge them to open their lives more deeply to Your love.

Blessed Jordan of Saxony OP, priest, pray for us.

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