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  • MANA


A Gospel according to Mk 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?”


“Watch out,

guard against the leaven of the Pharisees

and the leaven of Herod.”

Leaven in the New Testament refers to sin, impurity and hypocrisy. A tiny amount of leaven can leaven a large amount of dough, just as the smallest sin can corrupt one's character. Jesus had just left the Pharisees after they demanded a sign. And now, He follows up by teaching the apostles, but they did not understand what He meant.

Every action can be divided into moments. We basically lead passive lives. We react to situations in life, opportunities that come up, but mostly stick to a routine. Most of our thoughts are of the world. We don't intend to look for trouble but sometimes trouble finds us.

What if someone we just met kept company with us? If we spend time with them we can lean toward their way of thinking. They can change our souls to the point that there is a desire to enter into a friendship with them, in spite of some flaws.

What if they lead us astray, away from Christ, infuse us with ideas, complaints or murmurings? Their thoughts have now united with ours and doubts are raised. You enjoy their company and maybe move closer in friendship. The more we spend time with them, the more we can become like them. The more we desire to be in their social circles, the more we disdain what they disdain. We begin to speak as they speak.

As Saint James stated in the reading, " Each person is tempted when lured and enticed by his desire. Then desire conceives and brings forth sin, and when sin reaches maturity it gives birth to death".

Caution to whom we associate with, caution to what we see or hear or how we act or how we speak. It is so easy to become complacent, lukewarm, sinful and hypocritical. It is so easy to follow and go down the wrong path.

Do we understand sin? Do we understand the near occasion of sin?

May God continue to bless us.


PAPA Foundation
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