Tuesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
(Genesis 6:5-8.7:1-5.10; Mark 8:14-21)
We are about to begin our annual forty day retreat known as Lent. We should be asking ourselves what penances we will do: how might we intensify our prayer, overcome our craving for material satisfaction, and practice extra works of mercy? If the project sounds overwhelming, we are like the disciples of today’s gospel in the boat with Jesus.
The company of disciples begins to worry that they have not brought bread for the journey. But Jesus reminds them that they have witnessed him feed thousands with meager amounts. Underscoring the need to trust in him, he admonishes the disciples not to imitate the Pharisees or Herod. At least the former have demanded that Jesus perform signs on request before they believe in him.
Let us make no mistake. Lenten penances are for our good. They enable us to deepen our relationship with God, liberate ourselves from frivolous needs, and help one another. They are not impossible and seldom really difficult to fulfill because Jesus accompanies us. Trusting in him, we will discover a better place than anywhere that we have been.