The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2015, whose website is located at DailyScripture.net
What do you do when you come to the end of your resources – when you feel inadequate, shorthanded, or empty? Do you wring your hands, complain, fret, and give in to worry, fear, and despair? Mark tells us that the apostles set off in their boat across the Sea of Galilee only to discover that they forgot to bring enough food for their journey. What were they to do miles away from land and any place where they could buy food and supplies? They were anxious of course, and this was right after Jesus had performed the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes where the disciples fed more than four thousand people (Mark 8:1-9). Jesus knew the trouble in his disciples’ hearts even before they could speak. Jesus dealt with their anxiety by first warning them to not fear what can harm the body rather than what can destroy the very heart and soul of their being.
Jesus cautioned the disciples to beware of the bread that corrupts and leads to death, such as the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod. Our “daily bread” is whatever nourishes us, not just physically, but spiritually, intellectually, and morally as well. Why did Jesus tell his disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod? To the Jew leaven was a sign of evil. It was a piece of dough left-over from a previous baking. In due course it fermented and this fermented dough became leaven. Fermentation was associated with decomposing rot. Jesus warned his disciples to avoid the evil influence of the Pharisees and of Herod who sought their own counsels rather than the will of God.
As the apostles continued to worry about their lack of bread, Jesus reminded them of his miraculous provision of bread in the feeding of the four thousand. He then upbraided them for their lack of trust in God. Do you not yet understand? It’s easy to get preoccupied with the problems and needs of the present moment and to forget the most important reality of all – God’s abiding presence with us and his abundant provision for our lives as well. Do you pray with joyful confidence, Father, give us this day our daily bread?
“Lord Jesus, you alone can sustain me with your life-giving Word and Spirit. Give me joy and strength to serve you always and help me to turn away from the leaven of sin and worldliness which brings corruption and death.”
The following reflection is courtesy of PresentationMinistries.com (c) 2015. Their website is located at PresentationMinistries.com
“Are your minds completely blinded? Have you eyes but no sight?” Mark 8:17-18
Jesus was appalled at His disciples’ spiritual blindness. They were blinded to the significance of the two multiplications of the loaves and fishes. They were blinded to Who Jesus was. This blindness would eventually lead His disciples to abandon Jesus on Calvary.
Spiritual blindness caused Jesus’ death on the cross. It caused the Third Reich, the Holocaust of six million Jews, slavery for centuries, and countless other atrocities. Spiritual blindness causes starvation, racism, the sexual abuse of children, mass murder from abortion, etc.
Spiritual blindness is caused by the god of the present age (2 Cor 4:4) and by our complicity with the evils of this god of selfishness and secular humanism. Spiritual blindness is caused by sin. The darkness of sin blinds us (1 Jn 2:11), blinds us to being blind (Jn 9:40), and causes us to blind ourselves (see Is 29:9). Whole nations, cities, and even churches (see Rv 3:17) can become spiritually blind.
Jesus has divided the world into two groups those going blind and those receiving sight (Jn 9:39). Repent, go to Confession, and let Jesus heal you of blindness.
Prayer: Father, through my monthly celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, restore my sight and keep me from going spiritually blind. Promise: “Noah found favor with the Lord.” Gn 6:8 Praise: The Servite founders honored God in their service and gave their hearts to Him and the Blessed Virgin Mary. (For a related teaching, order our tape Spiritual Blindness on audio AV 65-1 or video V-65.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from February 1, 2015 through March 31, 2015.
Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 2014.
The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements