Tuesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Book of Genesis 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10, Psalm 29:1-2, 3-4, 8, 9-10, & Mark 8:14-21
There are sixteen chapters in the Gospel of Saint Mark. What precedes today’s narrative is the ministry of Jesus in Galilee. It is the ministry that gathered His disciples around Him, His preaching of the Kingdom of God, and the healing of those in pain. Up to this point, Jesus was heard and accepted by all. His ministry was clearly on the rise.
However, as we all know, the acceptance of Jesus was not to last. When they reached Jerusalem, the tide turned, and Jesus was met with not only a lack of understanding by all but a complete reversal of fortune. The last words of today’s narrative make it clear that not only the crowds but even the disciples, He had called failed to understand Him and what He was. He said, “Do you still not understand.”
Our Lord warns the disciples, “watch out to guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” They misunderstand these words to mean they had forgotten to bring extra bread (or leaven) with them as they had when Jesus miraculously multiplied the food for the crown in the desert. Here, Jesus challenges them at an even deeper level; He calls them not to be like the Pharisees who misunderstood Him. The issue here is that it was already too late because, at this point, the disciples did not truly understand the man they have been called to follow.
What I find interesting is that the friends of Jesus had the personal advantage to see Him, hear His words, and watch Him as He dealt with them, the crowds of listeners, and in all the situations they encountered with Him.
Despite that close relationship, they were fallible, just like us, who struggle with faith, hope, and love as we do our best to have an intimate relationship and union with Christ.
Today, we ask ourselves can we be open to the ultimate love Jesus has for us. The disciples were and eventually showed us the way. They understood Jesus, and they gained strength not just on the roads of Palestine but through the pain of His crucifixion, and His Resurrection transformed them through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Question of the Day: How will you understand not just with your mind but with your heart that Jesus is the Lord of our lives?
Prayer: Help us, Lord Jesus, to understand who and what you are for us and to rejoice with you who conquered even death for us. Be with us as we walk with you in the situations and events of our lives. Amen.