Jesus admonishes the Apostles for the failure to grasp the power of His miraculous works. Every Catholic Man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Gratitude so he can always give thanks for the life-saving gift of the Eucharist and by growing in the Virtue of Prayer so he can more deeply mediation about the works and words of Jesus in the Gospel. 

Liturgy

6th Week in Ordinary Time – Tuesday – Mk 8:14-21

Commentary

After miraculously Feeding the 4000 and being confronted by the disbelieving and treacherous Pharisees who demand yet another sign from Heaven, Jesus harshly rebukes the Pharisees and departs with the Apostles by boat to cross the Sea of Galilee.  

Despite The Feeding of the 4000 which left seven baskets full of leftover bread, the Apostles have somehow only brought one loaf of bread for their passage. Returning the Apostle’s attention to the hard-hearted Pharisees, Jesus warns them of how poisonous ideology, like that of the Pharisees and Herod, even in small amounts, negatively affects individuals and societies like a small amount of leaven (yeast) affects a whole batch of dough. The Apostles, perhaps driven by their hunger or because they are simply spiritually dense, are confused and continue to focus on the lack of physical bread. 

Jesus responds with anger and harshly rebukes the Apostles for their lack of understanding, perception, memory, and inability to grasp what they have seen and heard, an echo of earlier condemnations of Israel (Jer 5:21; Isa 6:9-10); worse, Jesus asks them if they are hard-hearted, a question that wonders if the disciples are a lost cause. Questioning them further, Jesus forces them to recall the remains of 12 baskets and 7 baskets from His feeding miracles; though cryptic, Jesus likely refers to His offer of salvation to the 12 tribes of Israel and the Gentile nations who make up the rest of mankind (“7” represents completeness and perception in the Bible). 

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Be unsettled by the Harshness of Jesus, the Divine King and greatest Leader, as He decisively corrects the disciples’ focus on worldly things (food) and their sloppy thinking: He reacts with righteous Anger to get the attention of the confused disciples (Peter explicitly remembers and has his assistant St. Mark write it down in the Gospel of Mark); He uses Fear (“Are you hard-hearted?”) and Shame, asking seven questions, some of them Insulting, to challenge the disciples’ lack of engagement in spiritual teachings; the perfection of Mercy, Jesus uses these tough measures to awaken and challenge the Apostles to build their faith.

Be grateful for the life-saving gift of the Eucharist

Realize: Across the thousands of years of Salvation History, Jesus, with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, meticulously lays the groundwork for revealing the life-saving gift of His Body and Blood in the Sacrament of the Eucharist: Melchizedek’s blessing (Gen 14:18-20), the gift of manna in the desert (Ex 16 ), The Feeding of the 5000 and The Feeding of the 4000. 

Believe: Reflect upon the Gift of the Eucharist (CCC 1333-1344).

Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Gratitude (a part of Justice) so I am moved by the Spirit to grow in ever greater appreciation for the spectacular life-saving gift of the Sacrament of the Eucharist and joyfully receive the abundance of grace Your Son offers me in His actual Body and Blood.  

Meditate deeply upon Jesus in the Gospels

Realize: Jesus harshly rebukes the Apostles’ lack of engagement which left them blind and deaf to His miracles and teaching, and then uses questions to teach them how to meditate deeply. 

Believe: Reflect upon Meditative Prayer (CCC 2705-2708) and learn about the ancient practice of Lectio Divina (“Divine Reading”; meditative reading of Scripture).

Pray: Jesus, Son of the Father, help me build the Virtue of Prayer (a part of Justice) so I learn the practice of Lectio Divina, prayerfully read and deeply meditate upon Scripture,  and prepare myself to lead my family and many others to You.