Word of the day
Reading of the day
A Reading from the Book of Genesis
GN 6:5-8; 7:1-5, 10
When the Lord saw how great was man’s wickedness on earth,
and how no desire that his heart conceived
was ever anything but evil,
he regretted that he had made man on the earth,
and his heart was grieved.
So the Lord said:
“I will wipe out from the earth the men whom I have created,
and not only the men,
but also the beasts and the creeping things and the birds of the air,
for I am sorry that I made them.”
But Noah found favor with the Lord.
Then the Lord said to Noah:
“Go into the ark, you and all your household,
for you alone in this age have I found to be truly just.
Of every clean animal, take with you seven pairs,
a male and its mate;
and of the unclean animals, one pair,
a male and its mate;
likewise, of every clean bird of the air, seven pairs,
a male and a female,
and of all the unclean birds, one pair,
a male and a female.
Thus you will keep their issue alive over all the earth.
Seven days from now I will bring rain down on the earth
for forty days and forty nights,
and so I will wipe out from the surface of the earth
every moving creature that I have made.”
Noah did just as the Lord had commanded him.
As soon as the seven days were over,
the waters of the flood came upon the earth.
Gospel of the day
From the Gospel according to Mark
The disciples had forgotten to bring bread,
and they had only one loaf with them in the boat.
Jesus enjoined them, “Watch out,
guard against the leaven of the Pharisees
and the leaven of Herod.”
They concluded among themselves that
it was because they had no bread.
When he became aware of this he said to them,
“Why do you conclude that it is because you have no bread?
Do you not yet understand or comprehend?
Are your hearts hardened?
Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear?
And do you not remember,
when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand,
how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up?”
They answered him, “Twelve.”
“When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand,
how many full baskets of fragments did you pick up?”
They answered him, “Seven.”
He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”
Words of the Holy Father
Jesus tells us to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees. That leaven is hypocrisy.
Hypocrisy is an internal division, you say one thing and do another. It is a sort of spiritual schizophrenia. Furthermore a hypocrite is a phoney: he seems good, courteous but he has a dagger behind him. A hypocrite is two-faced. He is a phoney. Jesus, speaking of these doctors of the law, affirms that they say but do not do. This is another form of hypocrisy, it is existential nominalism: those who believe that, by saying things, everything is in order. No, things must be done, not just said. On the contrary, a hypocrite is a nominalist, he believes that everything is done with words. Moreover, a hypocrite is incapable of blaming himself: he never finds a smudge on himself; he blames others. Just think of the speck and the log: this is precisely how we can describe this leaven which is hypocrisy.
May the Lord give to us, to all of us, the Holy Spirit and the grace of the clarity to tell ourselves what is the leaven I grow with, which is the leaven I act with. Am I a just and transparent person or am I a hypocrite? (Santa Marta, 14 October 2016)