Readings for Tuesday February 15, 2011
First Reading: Genesis 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 29
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)
Do you ever stop and wonder how amazing our bodies are? I have always been fascinated with how the body works and how all of the complex organs work together to keep us alive and to do all the amazing processes that we are capable of.
In our physical bodies, our hearts are very important. They pump blood throughout our body, taking oxygen to the cells that need it and taking away the carbon dioxide. Our eyes and ears are also very important as they allow us to experience certain sensations such as sight and hearing. Our minds are one of the best computers in the world, as they help us to store and process information. While the physical make up of most of our body parts is important in helping us to live and function in the world, these parts also have a spiritual dimension to them.
In today's gospel, Jesus gives His disciples a bit of a "spiritual biology" lesson. He comments on their hearts, eyes, ears, and memory. Jesus asks His disciples in the boat; "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..." This is all after their confusion about not having any bread and the instructions by Jesus warning the disciples of the "leaven of the pharisees and of Herod." While the disciples mistake this saying for them not having any bread with them, Jesus then decides to lay on the lesson.
Jesus is certainly not rebuking them for not having bread, but instead warning them of shutting Him out of their lives and turning away from Him. He asks them if their hearts are hardened; a warning of not having an open heart to our Lord. He asks them if they have eyes and do not see, and ears and do not hear; warning of not recognizing Jesus when He is working and speaking in their lives. He also questions their memory; warning of not remembering the acts that Jesus has done in this world and in their lives.
This spiritual biology lesson in an important one for us to remember as well. Even though our bodies and organs have a real physical presence and function; they also have a spiritual presence and function as well. We must remember to keep our hearts soft and open to Him, and to set our hearts upon the Lord. We must not be blind and deaf to our Lord, but constantly seeking and listening to Him. Lastly, may we always remember the works of the Lord, in ourselves and in others; and may we always be thankful and praise Him for His glory.
Father above, we thank you for the gift of this day. Lord, help to serve you this day with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. Lord, we pray for all those who are in need of conversion, may they be brought closer to your love and mercy. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.