God himself tempts no one.
A reading from the letter of Saint James (James1:12-18)
Blessed is the man who endures trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one; but each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
The word of the Lord
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps 94:12-13a.14-15.18-19 (R. 12a)
R/. Blessed the man whom you discipline, O Lord.
Blessed the man whom you discipline, O Lord,
Whom you train by means of your law;
To whom you give peace in evil days. R/.
The Lord will not abandon his people,
Nor forsake those who are his heritage;
For judgement shall again be just,
And all true hearts shall uphold it. R/.
When I think, “I have lost my foothold,”
Your mercy, O Lord, holds me up.
When cares increase in my heart,
Your consolation calms my soul. R.
Alleluia. If a man loves me, he will keep my word, says the Lord; and my father will love him, and we will come to him. Alleluia.
“Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (Mark 8:14-21)
At that time: The disciples had forgotten to bring bread; and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. And Jesus cautioned them, saying, “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” And they discussed it with one another, saying, “We have no bread.” 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? Having eyes do you not see, and having ears do you not hear? And do you not remember? 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.” “And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you take up?” And they said to him, “Seven.” And he said to them, “Do you not yet understand?”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Yeast is a powdery substance that is used as a rising-agent in the baking of bread. Just a little quantity can have a tremendous effect on the dough. Jesus warns against the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod. That is, the narrow-mindedness of the Pharisees and the immoral pleasure seeking attitude of the Herodian’s. But the disciples were not listening to their master; they were preoccupied with their lack of bread. Jesus scolds them for their lack of perception and forgetfulness. We are sometimes like the disciples, we get distracted when conversion sermons are preached. We get so worried and preoccupied with material needs and forget that we have been there before; that the same Jesus, can do it again. Am I still without perception? Is my mind closed?