Tue 13th Feb 2018
6th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

Jm. 1:12-18
Ps. 94(93):12-13,14-15,18-19
Mk. 8:14-21    (Ps Wk II)

In his letter, James makes it clear that those who become followers of Jesus will be tempted. Those who are able to endure such temptations will receive God’s blessing which will lead to salvation. However, those who are unable to withstand the temptations will fall into wrongful acts which will lead to death. It is not surprising then that, in the Gospel, Jesus rebukes the apostles for failing to understand the hidden meaning in his message and actions. Since they had forgotten to bring bread along, they were tempted into missing the point about the leaven of the Pharisees. Their response displays a lack of spiritual insight on their part. Where the Pharisees had refused a sign, the disciples are shown as those who failed to see the signs given to them.

It is especially so since the apostles had earlier been involved in the two miraculous feeding of thousands of people. They failed to understand that Jesus is the one bread for gentiles and Jews. Consequently, in a series of eight questions, Jesus makes them realise that they misunderstand him as much as the Pharisees do. Jesus' warning about the leaven is a reminder to the apostles to put aside their blindness that would hinder their recognition of Jesus. In this way, Mark the gospel writer, wants us, as followers of Jesus, to examine our appreciation of the Christian community's celebration of the Eucharist. He invites us to see, to hear and to understand, the many ways that our Lord Jesus, “the one loaf”, wants to be involved in our lives.

Lord, help me keep my eyes on You.