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Jan 27th
Home Sections The Daily B.R.E.A.D. February 17, 2009 - Tuesday Gospel (The Right Yeast)
February 17, 2009 - Tuesday Gospel (The Right Yeast) PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - The Daily B.R.E.A.D.
Monday, 16 February 2009 01:58
You can nurse your hurt, rehearse your hurt, or reverse your hurt. It's up to you to choose healing, today!
Genesis 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10
Psalm 29:1a and 2, 3ac-4, 3b and 9c-10

Mark 8:14-21  Now they had forgotten to bring bread; and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. (15) And he cautioned them, saying, "Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod." (16) And they discussed it with one another, saying, "We have no bread." (17) And being aware of it, Jesus said to them, "Why do you discuss the fact that you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? (18) Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember? (19) When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?" They said to him, "Twelve." (20) "And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?" And they said to him, "Seven." (21) And he said to them, "Do you not yet understand?"
Meditation by Mike Cherney (Chemistry Department - Creighton)

At first glance today's readings left me weakened in spirit and confused. In the passage from Genesis I thought I saw a vengeful yet just God. In the selection from the Gospel of Mark I found myself in the same confused state about Jesus' words as the apostles.
Like Noah I experience a God who is active in the world, but the God that touches me from the inside does not in my experience use death and destruction as tools. I seem to be guided by a God who transforms the world by touching people's hearts.

Today's Gospel is subsequent to a set of text where Jesus has twice in a miraculous way brought bread to the masses and most recently has been called upon by the Pharisees for another sign. In this context I can easily understand the confusion of the apostles. I can see that a reference to leaven could be understood as a reference to the bread on hand. Jesus chastises the apostles for this view. Again this is not the way that I am used to imagining my God.

On further reflection I think the key for my understanding may grow out of something that has lost its significance to the modern world. Leaven (yeast) is remarkable in the way a very small amount, over time, causes a profound change in both appearance and taste. I grew up in Milwaukee. In those days there were a number of major brewers in the city. The yeast used in the brewing process was a proprietary item. A different yeast gave a different flavor. Similarly, I can remember when bread was still occasionally baked at home. The shopping list in those days not only included yeast but also specified which brand. The kind of yeast was as important to the end product as the kind of flour. (These differences are likely the reason I still prefer bread from an artisan bakery to that found on the grocer's shelves.)

Jesus tells the apostles to guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod. In the case of the Pharisees I read this as a warning against allowing our interactions with God to be transformed into a set of rules. In the case of the Herod I read this as a warning against allowing our interactions with God to be transformed into the interactions of a secular world. We need to be choosing the right yeast. The new yeast that Jesus seems to implicitly offer brings a transformation but it keeps the focus of our interactions on our relationship with the transcendent.

"The Lord will bless his people with peace." I feel I may be finding some of that peace. I see two readings that call for transformation on a grand scale. In giving up some literalism (the way of the Pharisees) in my reading, I find myself reinforced in my view that God carries out cleansing by transforming hearts.

My prayer today is for an awareness of where an "extreme makeover" (conversion) is needed. I pray for openness in finding the right "yeast" (transformative direction).

No More Blame Game

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." - Matthew 5:4

Most of us have asked, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" We think if we live a good life, we will be happy, and if we live a bad life, we will be unhappy. But that is not always the case.

The better question is, "What happens to good people when bad things happen to them?" The answer Jesus gives is, "They will be comforted." He teaches us that it is possible to be happy even when sorrow casts a long, black shadow. With help, you can turn your negative into a positive, your minus into a plus, your cross into an empty tomb. It's possible to be happy anyway, if you don't blame God, yourself, or others.

You can nurse your hurt, rehearse your hurt, or reverse your hurt. It's up to you to choose healing, today!
* * *
Look for a way to be a comfort to someone who is walking through a "bad" experience in life right now.
* * *

Devotions taken from the
"Power for Life Daily Devotional."
Many who plan to seek God at the 11th hour, die at 10:30    -Unknown

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Last Updated on Monday, 16 February 2009 08:58

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