17 February 2009 Tuesday of the 6th Week in Ordinary Time
Genesis 6: 5-8 and 7:1-5, 10; Psalm 29; Mark 8, 14-21
An old adage say, “Experience is the best teacher.” But it is not true to many of us. We have not learned from our experiences! Genesis tells us about our wickedness that motivated God to command Noah to warn the people about the Great Flood and to build the ark that would save many creatures. But the people did not listen.
The Gospel tells us about Jesus’ greater concern for his disciples. He was afraid that they would be influenced by the evils of Herod and the Pharisees.* However, the concern of the disciples was trivial: they brought with them just a loaf of bread that was not sufficient for all of them. And yet, previously, Jesus fed thousands of people in two incidents with only a loaf of bread and two fishes.
We are very stubborn. If we have learned from all of our experiences, we would have lesser problems today. We would be able to filter what is good and what is bad to us. We would have distinguished what is detrimental to our health and what contributes to our well-being.
*leaven means evil. Leaven was a piece of dough from a previous baking. It is usually left to ferment. It is later added to a new piece of dough to make it rise. Thus for the Jew it is like evil: It is a pervasive influence that modifies or transforms someone to be also evil. However, modern use of the word now means a transformation for the better.