Understanding heavenly truths
February 13, 2018
6th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Jas 1:12-18 Gospel: Mk 8:14–21
The disciples had forgotten to bring more bread and had only one loaf with them in the boat. Then Jesus warned them, “Keep your eyes open and beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.” And they said to one another, “He saw that we have no bread.”Aware of this, Jesus asked them, “Why are you talking about the loaves you are short of? Do you not see or understand? Are your minds closed? Have you eyes that don’t see and ears that don’t hear? And do you not remember when I broke the five loaves among five thousand? How many baskets full of leftovers did you collect?” They answered, “Twelve.” “And having seven loaves for the four thousand, how many wicker baskets of leftovers did you collect?” They answered, “Seven.” Then Jesus said to them, “Do you still not understand?”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
We had visitors from Sri Lanka who arrived early in the afternoon. I presumed they already had lunch but still I asked them if they wanted to take something. When they shook their heads, I offered them junk food and coffee instead. One of them timidly protested: “Hungry so big; lunch nothing”. I was bewildered. They shook their heads when asked if they wanted to take something, but not they were telling me they didn’t have lunch. Later I came to know that when Sri Lankans shake their heads they mean to say “yes”. I misinterpreted the sign given by the Sri-Lankans.
The disciples too misinterpreted the sign that Jesus used. When Jesus warned them about the yeast of the Pharisees, they immediately thought about bread. Instead of absorbing Jesus’ warning about the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, the disciples began to worry about bread since they had brought little for the journey. But haven’t they eaten of the five loaves of bread that Jesus multiplied in the desert for more than five thousand people?
What happened to me, and the Sri Lankans was the result of difference in culture. What happened to Jesus and the disciples was the result of difference in priorities. While Jesus’ priority was spiritual truths, theirs was temporalities. Today Jesus’ priorities and ours are still kilometers apart. Even then faith can compensate for the discrepancy. If we but seek first the kingdom of heaven all the rest, even the material things we work hard for as basic necessities of life, will fall in line. If we can keep this basic reality of faith it won’t be hard for us to comprehend loftier heavenly truths. – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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