Homilette for Tueday, May 13, 2008

Tuesday of the Sixth Week of Ordinary Time

(Mark 8:14-21)

“Some say the world will end in fire,” writes poet Robert Frost, “Some say ice.” He is proposing metaphors for the two great threats to humanity -- desire and hatred. In today’s gospel Jesus proposes his own metaphors for these two eternal foes – the leaven of Herod and the leaven of the Pharisees. Herod wanted to please everyone, especially himself, so he married his brother’s wife, imprisoned John the Baptist when he criticized the action, and then beheaded the prophet not to lose face with his guests. The Pharisees came to despise sinners in their zeal to carry out the Law beyond all reproach.

To overcome desire and hatred, Jesus gives us himself as the bread of life. He personifies wisdom showing us how to live happily but temperately. He also incarnates the love of God, which brings out the good in all people so that they might gain eternal life. Jesus is the “one loaf” that the disciples have in their boat. He is the bread we break at Mass that delivers us from all evil.