AD SENSE

6th Week, Tuesday, Feb 16

 6th Week, Tuesday, Feb 16

Genesis 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10 / Mark 8:14-21

Sin spreads; God was sorry that he made human beings.  

In July 1984, James Oliver Huberty took a gun and drove to McDonald's restaurant in San Ysidro, California. Seventy-eight minutes later, 21 people lay dead and 19 more were injured in the worst massacre in our nation's history.

 In an interview with KFMB-TV of San Diego, Huberty's wife said her husband got up from the bed he had been sitting on, put on his pants and shirt, and headed for the door. "Where are you going, honey?" she asked. "I'm going to hunt humans," he answered. This kind of madness helps us appreciate God's words in today's reading when he says. "1 am sorry that I made them humans." 

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What are we doing about sin in our lives? What are we doing about sin in our world in general? What can we do about it? "Adam ate the apple, and our teeth still ache." Hungarian proverb 

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The memory of big inundations was strong in the lands and cultures of Asia Minor. The Bible ascribes them to God’s punishment of the growing evil in the world. Yet at the same time he spares the innocent.

The theme of yesterday is continued in today’s reading. We should not ask for extraordinary signs but learn to see God’s presence and saving action in the events of life. The apostles have seen the signs Jesus worked among them. We, too, should open our eyes and ears to the good things God does among us. 

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When the phone rings, we can do two things. We can either take the call, or we can just ignore the call. But one thing for sure, and that is, we know that there was a call. The call to repentance and conversion is constantly given by God. He calls out to us to turn away from our sinfulness and to come back to Him.

The 1st reading might have sounded harsh and may have given us the impression of a vengeful and punishing God. But when we read the whole story of Noah and the flood, we will see that God had issued call after call, warning after warning, to His people.

If punishment comes, it was not because God was vengeful and wanted to wipe out His creation. It was because His creatures did not remember Him. They forgot who was Creator and who was creature. They did not heed His call and it was their own sins that punished them. 

Hence the important factor for repentance and conversion is always this remembering. Remembering that God is our Creator and provider. Remembering, that God is merciful and compassionate and forgiving. Remembering that He fed the thousands when they were hungry. Remembering that it is only when we hunger and thirst for Him alone, then He will fill us with His saving love.

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    Encountering Christ:

    1. Bad Leaven: It does not take much yeast to get dough to rise. That leavening permeates the starch of the dough, which makes it grow and expand. It is an image Jesus uses here to illustrate what can happen when the leaven of unbelief is deposited in our souls. It grows. It expands. It corrupts—that is the leaven of the Pharisees and Herodians. We need to examine ourselves for any of this incipient malignancy.

    2.  Spiritual Senses: Jesus was offering his disciples some suggestions for combating this negative interior growth. He talked about eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear. If the spiritual senses are unengaged, then the bad leaven will continue to grow unchecked. But by the simple act of opening our spiritual eyes and ears, we can welcome new graces to help us begin to see things that we missed before. When we can start seeing how active the Lord is in our lives, the negative leaven will lose its power to corrupt.

    3.  Salvific Remembrance: After Jesus’s instruction, it seemed that the disciples were still struggling to understand. Another way to combat the bad leaven and activate the spiritual senses is to remember the blessings that our Lord has sent us: “Do you not remember, when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand?” Salvific remembrance is an important aspect of the Judeo-Christian outlook. Looking back to creation through salvation history gives the Catholic the macro view that combats the bad leaven. It is imperative, though, to bring this understanding to a personal level—to remember how many times God came to our rescue, gave us a light, opened a door, extinguished a danger. When we keep remembering, the bad leaven is contained and left sterile.

    Conversing with Christ: Lord, how much bad leaven is in my soul? Help me to recognize that growing doubts are a sign of my tuning out and forgetting your marvelous deeds in my life. Permeate my soul with the leaven of spiritual insight and constant remembrance of the goodness of your gifts.

    Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will take a closer look at the negative leavening of a growing frustration in my life. I will take a few minutes to try to engage my spiritual vision and salvific remembrance. Does that help my perspective?

    For Further Reflection: “I will recall the deeds of the Lord; yes, recall your wonders of old. I will ponder all your works; on your exploits I will meditate” (Psalms 77:12).

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Prayer

Lord our God, when we do not see clearly in life, when suffering comes our way, we tend to blame you or people. Help us to realize clearly how much of the evil around us comes from within ourselves, from our greed for riches and power, from our self-complacency and selfishness. Speak to us your word of forgiveness and change us from a silent majority of evil into solidarity of love, by the grace of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.