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Gospel Tuesday

February 19, 2019

Tuesday of the Sixth week in Ordinary Time

 
 
Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod
 
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to
 
Saint Mark 8,14-21
 

The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, and they had only one loaf with them in the boat.
He 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?”

 
 
Introductory Prayer:
 

Lord, I know you have worked in my life, and yet I take so little account of it. Just knowing the truth of your presence in my past would be enough to convert my heart totally to a future of commitment to you. Knowing your history will make me long for you. I hunger for goodness that will make this day fruitful in ways that will last, that will not deceive me. I intend to not let my mundane passions leave me blind and crippled before the opportunity to be your apostle today.

 
 
Meditation:
 

Do you allow anxiety or fear to keep you from trusting in God’s provision for your life? The apostles worried because they forgot to bring bread for their journey. And that was right after Jesus miraculously fed a group of five thousand people (Mark 6:41-44, Matthew 14:17-21), and then on another occasion four thousand people (Mark 8:1-10, Matthew 15:34-38)! How easy it is to forget what God has already done for us and to doubt what he promises to do for us in the future as well. Scripture tells us that “perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). Ask the Lord Jesus to fill your heart with his love and to increase your faith in his provident care for you.  


Jesus cautioned the disciples to beware of bread that corrupts, such as the “leaven of the Pharisees.” When leaven ferments a lump of wet dough, it transforms the dough and changes it into life-enriching bread when heated. Left-over dough which had been leavened (but not baked) would rot and become putrified. For the Jew leaven was a sign or symbol of evil influence. It signified anything which rots and corrupts, not just physically but spiritually and morally as well.
 

Jesus warned his disciples to avoid the way of the Pharisees and Sadducees who sought their own counsels rather than the mind of God. They were blinded by their own arrogance and were unable to recognize the truth and wisdom which Jesus spoke in the name of his Father in heaven. What kind of leaven (spiritual, moral, intellectual) do you allow to influence your way of thinking and living? Jesus sharply contrasts the bread and leaven which produces life, especially the abundant life which God offers through Jesus, the true bread of heaven, with the bread and leaven which rots and corrupts mind, body, and soul.  


As the disciples continued to worry about their lack of physical bread for the journey, Jesus reminded them of his miraculous provision of bread in the feeding of the five thousand and the four thousand. He then upbraided them for their lack of trust in God. Aren’t we like the apostles? We too easily get preoccupied with the problems, needs, and worries of the present moment, and we forget the most important reality of all – God’s abiding presence with us!

When the people of Israel wandered in the desert homeless and helpless for forty years, God was with them every step of the way. And he provided for them shelter, food, water, and provision, as long as they trusted in him. Each day he gave them just what they needed. Jesus teaches us to trust in God’s abiding presence with us and in his promise to provide us what we need each and every day to live as his sons and daughters. Do you pray with joyful confidence, “Father, give us this day our daily bread”?

 
 
Petition:
 

Lord, grant me the grace to commit myself more to your will through a deeper trust in you.  

  1. Missing the Foundation: “Is it because we have no bread?” We can see how easy it is to miss the messages God wishes to send us in prayer, because we are preoccupied only with what is immediate. We can be hungry for success, want a friend or family member to make peace with us, or we become obsessed over the finances. The insecure heart is pulled away from a healthy vision of life because it is not founded on rock. The soul that lives from the true foundation knows that as long as it has Christ and is doing his will, all is well.

 

  1. Remembering the Works of God: And do you not remember?” One of the worst sins of the people of Israel was to have forgotten God’s great works on their behalf. It is important to reflect often and with gratitude on the many benefits we have received from Our Lord. Each of us should remember: It is God who created us and who has begun the work of our holiness. If he has brought us this far with only a modest amount of cooperation on our part, how much further could we go if we were to give him our total dedication? How much more good would flourish in our lives? How many problems would find God’s hand shaping them for our benefit?

 

  1. Wishing to See Again: On any given day, every follower of Christ should have a healthy mistrust of what he thinks is the absolute need for his life. Oftentimes, a spiritual “detox” is in order to free us from becoming obsessed over secondary goals. This detox is found in the school of prayer. St. Augustine notes prayer is where we exercise desire, where we let our heart purify itself from its distractions, and where we let affection and devotion for the Beloved expand. The fire of divine love can heal many divisions and complexes in our psychology, if we consistently open ourselves up to it.
 
 
Conversation with Christ:
 

Lord, keep me from that spiritual anorexia that makes me lose the hunger for your presence in my life. I can let daily pressures and disordered passions block my ability to love you as I should. How I endanger myself; how I destroy my happiness in this world of illusion. Free me, Jesus, from my own folly! Give me back the hunger to love you again, as I promise never again to let myself be carried away by activism and pride.

 
 
Resolution:
 

Today I will write down the things I have been seeking that could take me away from Christ. I will honestly renounce them in an attitude of holy indifference, wanting them only in as much as Jesus wants them in my life.

 
 
Prayer:
 
“Lord Jesus, you alone are the true bread of life which sustains us each and every day. 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.”
 

Evangelio del martes

19 de febrero, 2019

Martes de la sexta semana del Tiempo Ordinario

 
 
Confianza en el amor de Cristo
 

Lectura del santo Evangelio según

san Marcos 8, 14-21

(Los discípulos) se habían olvidado de tomar panes, y no llevaban consigo en la barca más que un pan. El les hacía esta advertencia: «Abrid los ojos y guardaos de la levadura de los fariseos y de la levadura de Herodes». Ellos hablaban entre sí que no tenían panes. Dándose cuenta, les dice: «¿Por qué estáis hablando de que no tenéis panes? ¿Aún no comprendéis ni entendéis? ¿Es que tenéis la mente embotada? ¿Teniendo ojos no veis y teniendo oídos no oís? ¿No os acordáis de cuando partí los cinco panes para los 5.000? ¿Cuántos canastos llenos de trozos recogisteis?» «Doce», le dicen. «Y cuando partí los siete entre los cuatro mil, ¿cuántas canastas llenas de trozos recogisteis?» Le dicen: «Siete».Y continuó: «¿Aún no entendéis?»
Palabra del Señor.

 


Oración introductoria

Abre, Señor, nuestros corazones para saber escuchar tu voz. Abre, Señor, nuestros ojos porque somos ciegos y muchas veces no vemos el infinito amor que nos tienes. Permítenos verte para que siempre podamos seguirte y podamos cumplir tu voluntad tu voluntad. Déjanos ponernos en tus manos para que tú nos moldees de acuerdo a tus designios y podamos descubrir la paz y alegría de sabernos hijos tuyos.

Petición

Señor, que descubramos tu amor en la vida cotidiana.

Meditación del Papa Francisco

Los discípulos fueron entusiastas, preparaban programas, planes para la futura organización de la Iglesia naciente, discutían sobre quién era el más grande e impedían hacer el bien en el nombre de Jesús a los que no pertenecían a su grupo.
Los discípulos no comprendían: Lo entiendo, los discípulos querían eficacia, querían que la Iglesia siga adelante sin problemas y esto puede convertirse en una tentación para la Iglesia: ¡la Iglesia del funcionalismo! ¡La Iglesia bien organizada! ¡Todo bien pero sin memoria y sin promesa! Esta Iglesia así, no avanzará: será la Iglesia de la lucha por el poder, será la Iglesia de los celos entre los bautizados, y muchas otras cosas que están allí cuando no hay memoria ni promesa. Por lo tanto, la vitalidad de la Iglesia no está dada por los documentos y reuniones para planificar y hacer bien las cosas: estas son realidades necesarias, pero no son el signo de la presencia de Dios. Estar necesitado, tanto en el cuerpo como en el alma. Necesidad de cuidado, de curación, tener necesidad de amor. Aquí se ven dos actitudes. La de Dios es siempre gratuita: para salvar Dios no pide pagar nada, es gratuito. Buenos y malos: todos, todos, porque la gratuidad de Dios no tiene límites: todos, Él recibe a todos. En cambio, aquellos que tienen sus propios intereses no entienden la gratuidad.   (S.S. Francisco).

Reflexión

Los discípulos tenían miedo como también nosotros tenemos miedo de afrontar los desafíos del día a día. Su atención estaba centrada más en el resolver las cuestiones y problemas del momento y no tanto en mirar al Maestro que siempre estaba con ellos.
¿Teniendo ojos no veis y oídos no oís? Les replica el Señor. Están con Dios y aún así sus ojos se centran en otras realidades y dudan del poder infinito del Señor. Habían visto los milagros y su poder pero prefieren poner la confianza en sus propias fuerzas humanas. Jesús ya se los había dicho: Buscad primero su Reino y su justicia, y todas esas cosas se os darán por añadidura (Mt 6,33). Pero les faltaba confiar. Muchas veces afrontamos las dificultades sin mirar al Señor que siempre está con nosotros y quiere ayudarnos. Qué fácil es caer en el cansancio y el tedio cuando afrontamos solos las luchas de cada día.

Miremos al Señor y pongamos nuestras angustias y alegrías en Él. Lo que más le duele a Cristo es que dudemos de su amor. Él nunca se va a cansar de acompañarnos y demostrarnos su amor. Tal vez no sabemos ver, al igual que los discípulos, esos milagros y continuas muestras de amor que tiene con nosotros. Hagamos nuestra esa llamada de atención que le hace Jesús a sus apóstoles ¿Teniendo ojos no veis y oídos no oís?… Dios está con nosotros y solo busca que seamos felices. Confiemos en Él.

La confianza en el amor de Dios por cada uno de nosotros en particular es la causa y la fuente de la verdadera alegría porque nos sentimos realmente hijos amados y predilectos de Dios. Busquemos en nuestras vidas ser reflejo del amor a Dios. Transmitamos la alegría de sabernos hijos amados de Dios a todos los que nos rodean sin importar lo poco o mucho que nos agraden los demás.

Propósito

Buscaré siempre descubrir las muestras de amor que Dios me tiene para acrecentar mi confianza y amor en Él.

Diálogo con Cristo

Jesús, no permitas que dude de tu amor. Sabes bien lo débil que soy y lo fácil que olvido el infinito amor que me tienes. Tómame de la mano y ayúdame a afrontar las dificultades cotidianas sabíendo siempre qué Tú estás conmigo y nunca me dejarás sólo.
 
 
Despedida

Te damos gracias, Señor, por todos tus beneficios, a Ti que vives y reinas por los siglos de los siglos.
Amén.

¡Cristo, Rey nuestro!
¡Venga tu Reino! Virgen prudentísima, María, Madre de la Iglesia.
Ruega por nosotros.

En el nombre del Padre y del Hijo y del Espíritu Santo. Amén.