Monday, February 16, 2015

Do You Still Not Understand?

Tuesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

By Melanie Rigney
When the Lord saw how great was man’s wickedness on earth, and how no desire that his heart conceived was ever anything but evil, he regretted that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was grieved. (Genesis 6:5-6)
The Lord will bless his people with peace. (Psalms 29:11b)
(Jesus said to the disciples:) “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, “Seven.” He said to them, “Do you still not understand?” (Mark 8:19-21)

Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord; and my Father will love him and we will come to him. (John 14:23) 
Alleluia, alleluia.

And so it ends today, this part of ordinary time for the liturgical year. It ends with some sadness and challenge: In the first reading, God is so grieved with his people that He starts over, sparing only Noah and his family and a few pairs of animals. In the Gospel reading, Jesus becomes a bit exasperated that, like the Pharisees and Herod, the disciples seem to be more focused on coming to their own conclusions than in seeing the ultimate authority before them. It will be our prayer throughout Lent—Lord, let me trust; Lord, draw me nearer to you as I seek to remove the aspects of my life that keep me from You.

Something else also ends today: the alleluia goes away until the Easter vigil. And what lovely words to feed us in the coming weeks: “Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord; and my Father will love him and we will come to him.” It is that promise of Christ, so beautifully expressed in John 14:23, that provides us with bread for this Lenten journey.

Ponder John 14:23. Where are you falling short in the keeping the Lord’s word department… and what can you do about that during Lent?

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