Tuesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time




Tuesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 336

1st Reading – JAS 1:12-18

Blessed is he who perseveres in temptation,
for when he has been proven he will receive the crown of life
that he promised to those who love him.
No one experiencing temptation should say,
“I am being tempted by God”;
for God is not subject to temptation to evil,
and he himself tempts no one.
Rather, each person is tempted when lured and enticed by his desire.
Then desire conceives and brings forth sin,
and when sin reaches maturity it gives birth to death.

Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers and sisters:
all good giving and every perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of lights,
with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change.
He willed to give us birth by the word of truth
that we may be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 94:12-13A, 14-15, 18-19

R. (12a) Blessed the man you instruct, O Lord.
Blessed the man whom you instruct, O LORD,
whom by your law you teach,
Giving him rest from evil days.
R. Blessed the man you instruct, O Lord.
For the LORD will not cast off his people,
nor abandon his inheritance;
But judgment shall again be with justice,
and all the upright of heart shall follow it.
R. Blessed the man you instruct, O Lord.
When I say, “My foot is slipping,”
your mercy, O LORD, sustains me;
When cares abound within me,
your comfort gladdens my soul.
R. Blessed the man you instruct, O Lord.

Alleluia – JN 14:23

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord;
and my Father will love him
and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MK 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?”

Catholic Daily Reflections

What’s Your Leaven?

Jesus enjoined them, “Watch out, guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” Mark 8:15

What is this “leaven” Jesus is speaking of? After giving this warning to His disciples, Jesus then gives an explanation to them of what He means and what He doesn’t mean. But even the explanation seems to be over their heads. So He concludes by saying, “Do you still not understand?” To this day, Jesus is still asking this question to each one of us.

This was certainly Jesus trying to get them to think, to listen and to look deeper. He was warning them, “Watch out!” Watch out for this leaven. It’s a warning of love to help them see and understand a very real danger.

Everyone who bakes bread knows the effect of just a little leaven (such as yeast) in the dough. Add just a little bit and it affects the whole loaf. If a child is helping with the baking, this child may return several times, watching the dough rise little by little. It can become a fascinating thing to watch. And it all resulted from just this little yeast.

So what is this leaven of the Pharisees and Herod? It’s the evil words, evil intent and errors that they spread. For the Pharisees, it may be that it’s just a little misconception or misrepresentation of what Jesus said or did. They may twist His words or may simply give non-verbal opinions to others. This is contagious and has potential to affect everyone. Little by little their small seeds of doubt and dissent take a toll on others.

We may tend to be thinking about all of “those” people we know who do this. But we’d miss an important opportunity for growth if we failed to first look at ourselves. Do I do this sometimes? Do I say things that mislead in small or subtle ways? Or do I mislead others by my non-verbal negative attitudes? Am I a “negative person” sometimes?

No need to feel guilty or get down on ourselves if we feel convicted. Rather, we should look at this little lesson of Jesus to realize the great power of our words. The smallest of words can do great harm over time.

But that’s not all we should focus on. It’s just as important to realize that the small loving words we say also have potential to make a huge difference over time. Perhaps it’s just that small smile we give or a kind action that we think goes unnoticed. These little actions and words are the leaven of the Gospel. They do make a difference and they can become contagious, also.

Reflect, today, upon the small things in life. Know that these small sins and small acts of love make a huge difference in the end.

Lord, help me to be honest and see what sort of leaven I sow each and every day. Help me to be purged of the bad and filled with the good. May You inspire me to be that good leaven in all the many daily interactions I have. Jesus, I trust in You.

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