REFLECTION FOR TODAY
February 16, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
“Do you not yet understand or comprehend? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear?” Mark 8:17–18
This disciples had forgotten to bring bread and Jesus enjoined them to guard against the leaven of the the Pharisee and Herod. Instead of them to see the spiritual dimension of Jesus statement, the took it literally. Hence Jesus in our gospel reference of today asked the the question.
How would you answer these questions that Jesus posed to His disciples if He had posed them to you? It takes humility to admit that you do not yet understand or comprehend, that your heart is in fact hardened, and that you fail to see and hear all that God has revealed. Of course there are various levels to these struggles, so hopefully you do not struggle with them to a grave degree. But if you can humbly confess that you do struggle with these to a certain extent, then that humility and honesty will gain you much grace.
Jesus posed these questions to His disciples within the larger context of a discussion about the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod. He knew that the “leaven” of these leaders was like a yeast that corrupted others. Their dishonesty, pride, desire for honors and the like had a seriously negative affect upon the faith of others. So by posing these questions above, Jesus challenged His disciples to see this evil leaven and to reject it.
Seeds of doubt and confusion are all around us. It seems these days that almost everything the secular world promotes is in some way contrary to the Kingdom of God. And yet, just like the disciples’ inability to see the evil leaven of the Pharisees and Herod, we also frequently fail to see the evil leaven within our society. Instead, we allow the many errors to confuse us and lead us down the path of secularism.
One thing this should teach us is that just because someone has some form of authority or power within society does not mean that they are a truthful and holy leader. And though it’s never our place to judge the heart of another, we absolutely must have “ears to hear” and “eyes to see” the many errors that are held up within our world as good. We must constantly seek to “understand and comprehend” the laws of God and use them as a guide against the lies within the world. One important way to make sure we do this well is to make sure that our hearts never become hardened to the truth.
Reflect, today, upon these questions of our Lord and examine them especially within the broader context of society as a whole. Consider the false “leaven” taught by our world and by so many in positions of authority. Reject these errors and recommit yourself to the full embrace of the holy mysteries of Heaven so that those truths and those truths alone become your daily guide.
My glorious Lord, I thank You for being the Lord of all Truth. Help me to daily turn my eyes and ears to that Truth so that I will be able to see the evil leaven all around me. Give me wisdom and the gift of discernment, dear Lord, so that I will be able to immerse myself into the mysteries of Your holy life. Jesus, I trust in You.