Readings for Tuesday February 16, 2010
First Reading: James 1:12-18
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 94
Gospel: Mark 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?" (Mk 8:14-21)
I think that the majority of us have pessimistic tendencies. Now, I am not saying that we are always pessimistic, just that we are at many times in our lives. We get down when things seem hopeless and not going our way, and we just want to focus on the negative. The disciples in today's gospel began to do this when they realized that they only had one loaf of bread to eat. Jesus gave them a simple remedy for curing this negativity ... count your blessings.
Jesus, realizing that the disciples were not getting His message of watching out for the leaven of other authorities, had to go back to the basics because they were worried about food. Jesus had to remind them that they need to worry about food, look who they were with, the person who feeds thousands out of a few loafs of bread. Jesus had to remind them to count their blessings and to trust in God before they could begin to hear and understand the other important messages He had for them.
Saint James tells us today that, "all good giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights." (Jas 1:17) Let us always remember that everything that we have in life and all that we are is not because of us, it is because of God. May we always seek to count our blessings rather than focus on the negative.
Father above we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, you are so good and so merciful to us, thank you for your great gifts. Lord, thank you for loving us and wanting us, help us to never hold back in giving ourselves to you. We pray for all of our priests and religious, and for all those in need of conversion. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.