SS CYRIL, MONK & METHODIUS, B (Memorial) White
These two Greek brothers ultimately became missionaries, teachers, and patrons of the Slavic peoples. After a brilliant course of studies, Cyril refused the governorship and withdrew to a monastery to join his brother Methodius. Cyril died in Rome 50 days after taking the monastic habit. Methodius continued mission work for 16 more years. He was papal legate for all the Slavic peoples, and consecrated a bishop. He died on Tuesday of Holy Week, surrounded by his disciples, in his cathedral church.
First Reading: Gen 6:5-8;7:1-5. 10; Psalm: 29. R. v. 11b; Gospel: Mk 8:14-21
THE LEAVEN OF FAITHLESSNESS
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
Leaven is a substance that is used in dough to make it rise. It is also known as yeast. The potency of leaven to make dough rise is very visible and magical. Its influence cannot be underestimated. A very small quantity of leaven can have a huge effect on dough. Bakers almost cannot do without it.
When Jesus said to his disciples, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod,” he was warning them of the danger of faithlessness which can grow exponentially if not kept in check. The Pharisees rejected the teachings of Jesus and asked for a sign to believe in him. Herod neither believed in Jesus nor wanted him alive. This lack of faith in Jesus by the Pharisees and Herod was now beginning to show up among the disciples who were worried that they had no bread. If they believed in Jesus who fed the four and five thousand in the midst of scarcity, they would have no need to worry.
Just like the disciples, Jesus admonishes us today not to toe similar line with Herod and the Pharisees. Our lack of faith in God can have a strong effect in us and can go a long way to weaken the faith of others. We should also be very careful with our speeches. The smallest amount of negative words or vibes can do a great harm over time. We live in a world that is very slow to verify negative opinions but very quick to accept and spread them. What we say about a person may not remain only with the hearer. Words spread like a wind. Once we release it, we cannot hold it back. Let us see our faith in God and the words we speak as similar to the potency of leaven. Our faith or lack of faith in God and the words we speak can influence our world either positively or negatively.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, may we be good leaven to our world. Amen.