Commentary on the Gospel of
Tuesday, week 6, ordinary time Mk 8:14-21 Worship should be pure, not a mixture!
Forgot to bring bread
yeast of the pharisees & of Herod
Do you still not understand?
Those who do not have food readily available, generally, have a tendency to think of food due to the basic survival instinct! We recall that sometime the disciples had to embark on eating the ears of the grain, a clear evidence that there were moments when they lacked basic food items.
And so, having forgotten to bring some loaves with them exposes them to yet another possible torture from hunger. Human error [of forgetting] spontaneously blurs their memory of divine intervention [feeding of thousands of men with few loaves]. Along the spiritual journey, from time to time our eyes of faith is confronted by human challenges and struggles. At such moments, we have got to recall: Jesus does it and will still do it for us, just be patient!
Notwithstanding, our Lord is talking about the yeast or leaven of the pharisees and of Herod and not about the bread to be eaten! What does the yeast of the pharisees refer to? The book of Leviticus [2:11] states ‘no offering which you bring to the Lord shall be made with leaven’, in other word, no mixture! Worship should be pure!!
Dressing to be noticed and walking obsequiously in market places to attract attention are all exaggerated forms of religious orchestrations! The pharisaic showing-off!! It shifts attention from worship of God to human ‘self-praise.’ Christian spirituality places the values of humility and meekness before us. Our Christian vocation is a call to offer pure worship to God and not self-projection. We are therefore warned ‘not to entangle the word of God with our ulterior motives’, that is, not to interpret the word of God to match our desired postulations.
O God, please help us to understand and remain focused on you and worship you alone, through Christ our Lord, amen.