Homily for Tuesday of the 6th Week in Ordinary Time Year A
Theme: The Grace to Believe
By: Fr. Benny Tuazon
Homily for Tuesday, February 19 2019
(Mk. 8:14-21) Tuesday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel Jesus, after the multiplication of the loaves, one involving five and another seven, warned His apostles regarding the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod. Because they had brought only one bread, the apostles thought that Jesus was referring to them. Jesus chided the apostles for still not getting the message of the two previous miracles.
Putting ourselves in the shoes of the apostles, we should be able to realize that it is not easy to see Jesus’ point. Even during those times, many other “miracles” were being made. While Jesus, in a way, was a one of a kind miracle worker and a good preacher, the most that He was able to obtain was the title great prophet. They could not believe He was the Messiah they were waiting for. The reasons for this had already been mentioned in our previous reflections. The apostles were given great signs yet, they still did not believe.
Worse was the situation of the Pharisees who were denied of more signs when they asked one from Jesus. The “leaven” of Herod and the Pharisee was their refusal to open themselves to the truth. Before their eyes, a lot of signs had been shown and given. They were reluctant to let the message of Jesus enter them. They still lacked the faith necessary to see the Messiah in Jesus. Thomas, one of the apostles personified that difficulty. For him to believe that Jesus really resurrected form the dead, he demanded for Jesus not only to show him the wounds inflicted by the nails but also for Jesus to allow him to insert his fingers in them. It was a classic example of “seeing before believing” or more accurately “feeling is believing.” However, not everything fall under that category. The recognition of Jesus as the Messiah requires believing even without seeing. Thus, in the end, Jesus told Thomas and the apostles, “Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed”.
Is this possible? Yes. It is very much possible in the Spirit. When we open to the Spirit, we obtain wisdom, knowledge, humility, and all other charisms we need to believe. In other words, God gives us the grace to believe. At times we are afraid to let the Spirit prevail because our humanity does not agree. But that is what faith is. If we are certain it comes from God, no matter how our reason runs counter, we dare to believe. Our case, admit it or not, is easier. Then, Jesus has not yet risen from the dead. Now, we have the benefit of the New Testament. We have the witnesses of the apostles and the early Christians. Christ is risen! Alleluia!
Today, we have every reason to believe. Still, faith is a mystery. But we have enough reason to believe. We need not understand the mystery. Our faith is enough to accept it.