February 17, 2015

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?”
Reflection:
In today’s gospel, Jesus is frustrated with his apostles lack of understanding. He was concerned that his most ardent followers not be influenced by “the leaven” (the negative attitude) of the Pharisees and King Herod.
Even though they had witnessed the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves on two separate occasions, the apostles still worried that they had only one loaf of bread.
We sense this frustration of Jesus, as he asks, “Do you not yet understand or comprehend? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear?”
Today’s gospel passage brings to mind an old saying used by my friend, Jack. Referring to the days when he just didn’t “get it,” Jack says: “I wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer.”
So, why do I love the apostles? Because, they are like us. Even though many times they didn’t “get it,” nevertheless they loved Jesus and did their best to be faithful to him.
The apostles are proof of the old saying: “Christ doesn’t choose the qualified. He qualifies those whom he chooses.”