“’he regretted that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was grieved.’ ’or I am sorry that I made them.’ But Noah found favor with the LORD.”(GN 6: 8, 10)
“The Lord will bless his people with peace.”(Psalm 29: 11b)
Jesus said, “Watch out, guard against the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.”(Mark 8: 15)
Have you ever made homemade bread? The ingredients are yeast, salt, sugar, oil, and flour. I have a fond memory of making bread with my Italian brother-in-law. He was an amputee and had very serious heart problems, but he lived for the present and was very kind-hearted and charitable. I was helping him because my sister just had foot surgery.
Louis liked to watch a particular cooking show. The chef’s approach to cooking was scientific. So, he had made a type of small breads called popovers on his show that day. Louis wanted me to help him make popovers. We had to have a special pan which he sent me to find and also,to buy the ingredients. When we had everything we needed, Louis and I mixed the ingredients as the TV chef demonstrated and put a small amount of the dough into each section of the pan. Then we set the pan into the preheated oven and set the timer. I really enjoyed Louis rolling over in his wheelchair in front of the oven to watch the popovers rise. He chuckled with glee as he watched them expand and puff up. Louis’ excitement was contagious. I was smiling and laughing at the sight of Louis’ celebration of the perfectly puffy popovers he made. What a special moment!
In the readings there is a theme that is similar. If we trust in God and not allow the world to infect us with its negativity, then we will be at peace and know that God will take care of our needs. I liked how Father Michael would warn us about the ANTs(Automatic Negative Thinking) of the world that can creep into our thoughts and cause us to sin. Jesus’ warning to the disciples was how the “leaven” of the bread fed to them by the Pharisees and Herod was not made with love but with negative intentions. How did the disciples let the ANTs creep into their thoughts? Weren’t they traveling with the “bread of life”? Jesus’ bread is leavened with love and will feed everyone who eats of it. Just like he blessed five loaves and could feed five thousand and again when he blessed seven loaves and fed four thousand.
Do we understand? The Eucharist is the bread of life leavened with Jesus’ perfect love. When the priests consecrate the bread and wine at Masses celebrated throughout the world, Jesus’ heart is multiplied and is given to millions of faithful Catholics. How joyful we should be! Just like my brother-in-law’s joy over his popovers. Can we be joyful and let our joy rise and flow out to others? Can we spread our joy and love of God’s gift of the priesthood and the Holy Eucharist to all we meet?